tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 24, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
where all the god fathers past, present, and are headed. thanks to chris brancato and eric dyson. you know what's not a simulation? "hardball" next. >> traitor don. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump is roiling financial markets today around the world, escalating his trade war with china and attacking the chair of the federal reserve. all this as he heads off to herald the strength of the u.s. economy at the g-7 summit this weekend in france. responding to a retaliatory move by china earlier today, the president tonight declared he's hiking u.s. tariffs on beijing, raising existing rates as well as those set to kick in next month. it comes after china announced this morning they're imposing a new round of tariffs on $75
billion worth of american goods. the news was met with outrage at the white house where the president took to twitter and attempted to order all american companies to cut their ties with china. all american companies. no more trade with china. of course, that's ridiculous. trump tweeted we don't need china and frankly we would be better off without them. our great american companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to china, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the usa. that's the president this morning trumpeting powers he doesn't possess. however, "the washington post" points out the white house does not have the authority to force companies to follow such directives as that. according to the census bureau, the united states has $380 billion trade deficit with china in 2018. a deficit that appears to be increasing this year. look at those numbers. trump's tweeting ignited a rapid selloff off wall street. the dow that had been in positive territory, plunged and went down 623 points in one day.
it remains near its average for the summer. earlier today, the president appeared to joke about the market's decline, saying the dow is down, perhaps on the news that representative seth moulton, however that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race. wow, what a card. all this comes after fed chair jerome powell said this morning the trade policy uncertainty seems to be playing a role in the global slowdown. his speech, which was intended to reassure markets, instead trump prompted an attack from the president. quote, as usual, the fed did nothing. it is incredible that they can speak without knowing or asking what i am doing. which will be announced shortly. we have a very strong dollar and a very weak fed. and then in a stunning move, the president added, my only question is, who is our bigger enemy, jay powell or chairman xi of china? i'm joined by ben rhodes, former deputy national security adviser to president obama. jill corben, and michael froman,
vice chairman at mastercard and a former u.s. trade rep in the obama administration. thank you all. this is going to be very powerful. let's talk about -- i'm a big believer that the trade deficit with china has to be dealt with because china keeps making money off us, which they do by selling us great goods, no doubt about it, we love their stuff. especially their cotton goods and all that stuff, but they use all that exchange they get from us to buy the rest of the world, especially africa. i don't like it, ben. your thoughts about what should we be doing if not this? but let's start with trump. what's he doing? what's he up to? >> the problem is he doesn't really know what he's doing, chris. he's gotten into this, and the only play he's had is to escalate this trade war with the chinese. i don't think anybody knows where this is leading. and the chinese have clearly decided to dig in and to match him move for move. and the risk is that he's not only raising prices on americans, hurting american sectors like the agricultural sector, but he's dragging down the entire global economy. the way to do this, if you wanted to stand up to china's
unfair trade practices, if you wanted to stand up for american workers and businesses, is not to alienate the united states from the rest of the world and take on the chinese alone. it would be to rally all of our allies, the people he's seeing at the g-7, the countries we negotiated with, that mike froman negotiated with, so we have a united front with other countries to go to the chinese and say you need to cut out your theft of intellectual property. >> has anyone been able to -- ben, has anyone been able to do that, get the world to take on china, because they're the big monster. has any president, including obama, been able to do that? >> well, chris, unfortunately, we were building up to that type of capacity. the trade agreement that we negotiated, the transpacific partnership, with a number of the leading asia pacific economies, was meant to give president of the united states greater leverage for that type of confrontation. i think what you need to do -- >> you're so right. but hillary wouldn't go along with it. >> that was a mistake by hillary.
and frankly, i think the democrats have to learn, too, chris, look, it's not just about free trade. it's about trade agreements that can work for american businesses and workers. trade agreements that are more progressive. if voters are looking for someone who's going to tear up trade agreements, they that have in donald trump. i think democrats can afford a different alley. >> ben, you're the best. i'm not getting into the clinton war because there was an interesting war, because bill clinton, i was in tokyo when he said he thought it was a fabulous agreement, the ttp. and you know politics in this country. hillary came out against it. i know how politics work. let's go to you. you're with the associated press. tell me, does trump just get petulant? or does he have a strategy to really take on china? somebody has to take on china. >> the president has been saying now for decades china has been ripping the u.s. off. >> well, they are. >> as he stood there as we saw on the south lawn and summoned the sky and said he had been appointed, he was the chosen one to take on china. he does feel like china is
ripping us off. >> does anyone disagree with that premise that somebody has to do it? >> i think that's a pretty -- even as the tpp agreement was trying to address, absolutely. and so he believed he is the one to do this, and that it makes sense for him to risk some potential economic hardship in order to get that done, in order to seem strong, but the problem is the way he's been doing this has created the economic ripple effects across the globe that really are now threatening his re-election chances. >> earlier this morning, peter navarro said china's latest round of tariffs shouldn't affect financial markets. >> $75 billion worth of tariffs in terms of, what, the combined $30 trillion economy is not something for the stock market to worry about. and we're cool here. >> how can you beat the chinese? it's a command economy. a command society. xi is the boss. he can do this stuff that trump thinks he can do. tell american companies they can't trade with china.
how do you beat them? >> i think you organize all your like-minded companies. europe, canada, japan, major emerging economies to put pressure on china on issues that are out there, including overcapacity. that's what we were doing at the end of the obama administration. you organize the countries in the region to set higher standards and rules for trade that china will be forced to compete with, and you use all the tools at your disposal to hold china for account. >> you think china can be beaten in this war? this is the 21st century. the way they're going, they will beat us. >> i think they have a strategy they're executing on well. i think it's important for us to also have a strategy, including a domestic strategy around investing and research and technology, lifelong learning, portable benefits, all the things we need, whether it's trade or technology, that's going to affect the american worker. we have to make sure the american worker can succeed. in a rapidly changing economy. >> are we better than they in innovation? can we win that war? we can't win in population. they outpopulate us. >> we have great universities.
we have great research and development. >> most of the great universities are here. >> we're a leader in innovation, but they're also catching up quite a bit in a number of areas. according to some, ahead of us in some areas. we shouldn't be complacent about it. we haven't invested in the same way domestically as they have. >> why don't we buy anything from vietnam? >> we are buying a certain amount. >> wouldn't that screw the chinese if we said we're going to buy stuff from vietnam now? >> china is the second largest economy in the world, first largest consumer economy in the world. it's important for our exporters and workers and farmers to have access to that market. getting market access, leveling the playing field, having fair trade with them is important. i think the president has created a certain amount of leverage in his initial threatening of putting tariffs on. but you got to translate that leverage into actually agreements, and that's the hard part. it's easy to impose tariffs. it's hard to take them off. once tariffs are in place for a while, people get used to them. >> let me get back to ben.
and the politics of this thing. i think we ought to fight with china. trump may be doing it the wrong way. the culture is so long term. their indifference curve is so long. they'll take eons to get what they want to get. we're thinking about friday night what movie we're going to. let me ask you about a fight that seems to be deleterious, stupid. why is he attacking his fed chairman so publicly? does he think he can get lower rates and help the economy get some more soup in it if he just bashes this guy every day on television? >> no, chris. here's what i think is going on. right. we are potentially heading into an economic downturn, potentially a recession because of the reckless leadership of donald trump. the tools you would have in place to try to stimulate an economy, we don't have those in place because donald trump gave away a trillion dollars in his tax bill, largely in corporate tax cuts, tax cuts to the wealthy. the fed already has low rates. donald trump is looking for other people to blame if the recession comes, the downturn comes before his election.
so he's set up the fed. he's set up xi jinping. going to set up the democrats in congress. anybody but himself, the chosen one, as he says. anyone but himself to blame. i think that's what this is all about. >> it sounds biblical. let me ask you about something i don't understand. i know keynesian economics. everyone at this table knows it. a big tax cuts means a lot more money to spend. they spend a certain percentage of it and you get economic growth. you have increased growth. but what happened this time? this zillion dollar tax cut, why didn't it work? is it money just being used to buy back stock by corporate leaders? where did it go to, all this money, or is it sitting somewhere? ben, a tough question. why did it not work? >> well, because it wasn't designed, right, to -- it was designed to go to the wealthy and to corporations. it wasn't designed to get people, to put money in people's pockets. it wasn't designed for the middle class. it wasn't designed to boost
consumer spending in this country. it was designed to reward, frankly, corporations and wealthy backers of this president who put that money away. >> they use sanders' accent, what are the billionaires and millionaires doing with it all? they have it in their bank accounts? do you know where the money is? who got the money? >> i don't know. >> you're an economics guy. where did all those zillions of dollars we gave away from the federal treasury, basically, to soup up the economy so trump would get a good re-election, well he's not the only loser here. the american people have lost with this money going out the door. >> i think we're very fortunate the economy is quite resilient and we're ten years into a recovery and consumer spending continues to be fairly strong. >> yeah. >> an economist will generally say -- trees don't grow to the sky. >> are we facing two quarters of declining gdp, which is a recession. >> we don't know yet. but the question will be what triggers it if it happens. and the kind of trade tensions we're seeing could be a factor.
>> co-dependence between the countries who made up the global economy, the president gloated the u.s. economy is doing well. we're the only ones doing well, he says. he said on twitter the economy is strong and good whereas the rest of the world isn't doing so well. "the washington post" described despite signs of a home-grown slowdown, trump claims the u.s. is immune to the economic trends rallying in other countries and then the president accused them to conspire to break the economy. saying, quote, despite with their partner, the democrat party, that's partisan talk, are working overtime to convince people they are in or will soon be going into recession. they're willing to lose their wealth or a big part of it just for the possibility of winning the election. i don't know what to say about that. you're not political, you're not political. i have to go back to ben on this. first of all, i think there's a point there that the press likes to be ahead on the story. nobody wants to be behind on the story. the story right now is could there be a recession? trump says that's beating down the economy. your thoughts? the press is beating down the economy.
>> again, he's looking for someone to blame. what he's getting, some of this data, he's seeing the writing on the wall. his actions have brought this about. his erratic leadership, his trade war with china, the rattling of the markets. this tax bill that did nothing to really address the fundamental problems in the economy, whether that's wage stagnation or whether that's the investments that mike mentioned that should be made and the research and innovative base of this country. so he's just looking for scapegoats. he's looking for people to blame. for the democrats, it's a simple message. this guy didn't take care of you. he said he was going to look out for you, the people you're always talking about in pennsylvania. instead of looking out for you, he looked out for the wealthiest americans. he looked out for corporations, and meanwhile, you're the one getting hit. your wages aren't going up. and your student loans are still going up. your retirement security is still elusive. the price of health care is going up. even though he spent a trillion dollars on this tax bill, things are not getting better for people struggling in the economy, and the democrats need
to make that message forcefully. >> i wish he was making -- he ought to be pushing people who have the cash, if they're swirling in cash, the big guys, use it to build new equipment to be as optimistic on the economy as trump talks. as he talks. thank you, ambassador mike froman. thank you for your service to the country. ben, thank you as well. you and jill are sticking with us. >> coming up next, trump versus the world. he loves this fight. i'll fight anybody in the house for a dollar. remember this photo from the last year's g-7 summit? there he is, this is like one of those pictures you see in bar windows, like one of the republican presidents fighting with all the democrats. he's sitting there with his arms crossed defiantly in front of other world leaders. i put my money on merkel. anyway, here we go again. america's allies are bracing for another contentious summit, a stormy one over there in france, and trying to figure out how to keep trump from blowing it all up. that's their concern, and presidential contender beto o'rourke joins us live tonight. his strategy for winning the
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xfinity x1. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. welcome back to "hardball." after escalating the trade war we just talked about with china and inciting chaos here at home, president trump now takes his road show across the atlantic. tonight, he departs for france. and the g-7, and our allies brace for stormy summit. french president emmanuel macron now wonders how to handle trump. "the washington post" reports france's main objectives as host of this weekend's group of seven summit is to minimize the chances that president trump will blow it up. there may be troubles ahead as world leaders talk global trade, iran, and climate change. including the fires raging right now in the amazon rain forest, which is really scary. on top of all that, president trump is pushing for russia to be added back into the group. once again, acting as an agent
for russia. does the spir conspiracy go on? you have to ask yourself, how did he get the job of lobbyist or ambassador for russia? he's still doing it. president trump, macron, by the way, says it's not going to happen unless russia gets its hands off ukraine, which is unlikely. russia was kicked out of the g-7 when it annexed crimea from the ukraine in 2014. here again the past is prologue. look at this picture from last year's summit in canada that displays the diplomatic discord of the meeting. look at them. president trump visibly opposed by all the other world leaders. john bolton is there at his side. trump left that summit early. he left early and announced in a tweet from air force one he would not sign the official communique because he was angry with prime minister trudeau. macron said there will not be an end of meeting communique this year for the first time ever, because macron said trump won't
agree, it's pointless. back with ben, jill, and eugene robinson. i want to start with gene on this one. i'm just stunned. he's the bull in the china shop who hauls the china shop with him. why does he have to play john mcenroe everywhere he goes? . >> he loves it. number one, he thinks it's his brand. it's his brand to be a nationalist. it's his brand to be -- i am america against the world. we don't need the rest of the world. we don't need these cheese eaters. you know, and that picture that we showed, i mean, he's loving it. he's the center of attention. he's loving that moment. where they're all having to appeal to him to do something, and he's saying no. he just eats that up. he gets, i think, a satisfaction out of that. >> except for one guy. he loves boris johnson. the other guy with the hair, the other story, the other wild picture. he wants the other wild man. >> he's not going to love boris quite as much as he thinks. they're going to get along, and
boris is a performer like trump. i knew him a little bit when i was in london. he was a journalist then. >> boris. he was. >> a hack, actually, but he was -- >> he wasn't reliable on facts, was he? >> he was not reliable on facts. but you know, he's a performer. a politician performer, like trump. and so they will get that. he's also a nationalist. >> you know who else was a journalist and started that way? benito mussolini. >> but boris johnson is basically a european. he's not going to agree with trump on a lot of things. he doesn't agree with him on bringing russia back in, for example. he knows about this little unpleasantness in ukraine. he's read history. >> he wrote history, a great book of churchill. yeah. >> if trump thinks he's coming, you know, to meet a mini me, boris isn't exactly going to be that. >> the guy down in brazil is. anyway, the rain forest. ben, here's this, your line.
i have to tell you, trump acts like if they don't have the dossier on him, if they don't have video of the hotel scenes, why is he acting like this? why is he going over to france with a number one goal of getting russia back in? why has he got this lobbying job for russia? >> chris, it's absolutely mystifying. >> or not. >> well, yeah. i was there when we kicked russia out of the g-8, and i can tell you, that was a unanimous decision of all the other countries because they invaded and annexed crimea from ukraine. the fact is you go to these summits, i went to eight of them, to meet with your allies and make strategies on the issues around the world that you agree with these countries about, and you're trying to figure out how to solve problems. russia would be a spoiler in that mix. the only thing i can think of, chris, is obviously he's carrying putin's water, doing exactly what putin wants, which is trying to divide the west, trying to divide the democratic world so that russia can take advantage of that division. and it seems like he's just so eager to meet with putin. remember, he invited him to the
white house. and he couldn't go through with that because he got so much political blowback. he's always happy to meet with him at the g-20. makes fun of reporters sitting next to vladimir putin even though vladimir putin had reporters killed. he's eager to get russia in another meeting so he has another chance to meet with vladimir putin. we need this g-7 badly. look at the crises. the trade war with china, climate change, the amazon on fire. iran accumulating a stockpile of weapons. these are the things you want to talk to these countries about. our allies are thinking about how do we prevent the united states from blowing up the summit. it's a sign of just how far the united states has fallen in terms of our standing in the world. >> president trump is again criticizing our allies he's planning to meet with. at a rally last week, the president said this about the european union. >> the european union is worse than china. just smaller. it treats us horribly.
barriers, tariffs, taxes. and we let them come in. >> and last month, the president threatened to place tariffs on french wine in response to the country's new tax affecting technology companies. here's what trump tweeted. i always said american wine is better than french wine. now, the question there, and it's a legitimate one, he doesn't drink. >> he said the labels on the bottles look prettier, and that's what makes it good. he happens to own a vineyard in essentially, of course. so there's business interest there. >> why does he make statements that don't mean anything? >> this is a fascinating pattern. in addition to the mic drop moment the president did in canada when he was leaving, he just has this, i don't know why he does it. >> that's a generational thing you're doing, the mic drop. that's new. go ahead. >> he has this thing where every time he goes to visit one of these summits, he goes to an allied nation -- >> what does it mean? you covered this guy. what's his psyche. >> he likes to create these moments of conflict. i think he thinks it generates attention.
he doesn't like spending time at these summits. he finds it quite boring, so he creates all of this drama before he arrives. you saw just this week, he threatened to release isis prisoners into european nations. into the country's allies. he had this spat with denmark, where he's furious about his inability to buy greenland. >> does he hate the very idea of equality, of him sitting at a >> the president prefers trips where he's hailed as this glorious figure. all the pomp and circumstances, countries like china that roll out the red carpet. >> he's scripting an episode. we should be used to that by now. he approaches every day, every meeting, every encounter like an episode of a reality show. and that act is old. but we should expect that. >> to your point, jill, the g-7 also comes on the heels of the president's feud with denmark this week. the president pulled out of a state visit after denmark's
prime minister called trump's desire to purchase greenland absurd. the other g-7 leaders have certainly taken notice. according to "the new york times," quote, most of the other leaders of the group of seven powers will no doubt save their eye rolling for when he's not looking. but they have come to see the mercurial behavior as the new norm by the president. ben, greenland. i sometimes think, i'm not a trump hater. i know i disagree with most of what he does, but there's a part of him that is simply an 8-year-old. some people say an 11-year-old. gee whiz, i'm looking at the board game, monopoly, and saw this big acquisition. i can buy park place or whatever it is, i can buy this. i will buy greenland. they're never going to sell it. why does -- what do you make of this, this strange behavior? it's not going to happen. >> this one is particularly crazy. here the thing though, chris. as someone who had to work on foreign policy and think about our relationships around the world, we're kind of laughing at this stuff here.
they're not around the world. they're thinking like, what happened to america? how did they elect this person? who is this person? and i should add, too, yes, it's true, he likes to create drama at the summits. not when he's going to see dictators, not when he's going to see kim jong-un. he tries to get along with vladimir putin every time he sees him. it's peculiarly only around democratic allies that he exhibits this behavior. that's what's so worrying to me. he's a nationalist, a man with authoritarian tendencies. he's more comfortable with people who are also like that. xi jinping, vladimir putin, kim jong-un. he's comfortable in their company, not in the company of our european allies, our closest allies in the world, justin trudeau or shinzo abe from japan. that's what's so distressing about this. >> gene, i want to let you answer this. because world war ii, with all its horror, 50 million dead, created something good called world order. before that, little countries didn't matter. germany could gobble up poland.
it was just stalin and ussr. germany, the japanese, us, and the big boys decided everything. and the little countries had to live with it. it seems like trump wants that back. >> right. he seems to want a sort of sphere of influence world of great powers, where you have the united states and you have china in a lesser role over there, and you have, you know, who cares about europe? it's tragic to say, i think the institutions and alliances that were created after the second world war were spectacularly successful, and you know, at keeping the peace, at generating prosperity. it's a system that worked very well. not perfectly. >> bipartisan, too. >> it was bipartisan. donald trump doesn't understand any of that. he certainly doesn't believe in it. and intent absolutely right. he's much more comfortable with kim jong-un. and vladimir putin. >> who would have believed at
the end of all that germany would be a great democracy, japan would be a great democracy, and europe would be united. thank you, ben rhodes, great to have you on. and thank you for your service too. jill colvin, thank you for the associated press, and eugene robinson. up next, 2020 presidential contender beto o'rourke is ready to play "hardball." i hope i said it right. still ahead, the massive wildfire destroying the amazon. the french president calls it a global crisis. trump doesn't even understand what this is, the lungs of our planet down there. don't go anywhere. we're back after this. imu [ applause ] it's an honor to tell you that liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. and now we need to get back to work. [ applause and band playing ] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." today, the democratic field of 2020 candidates shrunk by one. as massachusetts congressman seth moulton ended his presidential campaign. moulton's the fourth candidate to drop out so far, following swalwell, hickenlooper, and inslee. many of the remaining candidates spent the day campaigning out in san francisco. former congressman beto o'rourke, however, was in texas with former congresswoman gabby giffords who was severely wounded in a mass shooting in tucson in 2011. visiting with victims of the recent mass shooting in el paso. there they are in the hospital. in an interview with "the new york times" last week, o'rourke said he would detach his travel from the primary calendar and plan his political activities around confronting mr. trump in direct and personal terms. here he was today on the importance of connecting trump's rhetoric to hate crimes.
>> if i don't connect the dots, then i am in part culpable for the next mass shooting animated by the president's racism. so we've got to call that out. and we've got to make those connections clear to our fellow americans who themselves may have not understood how the president's rhetoric, his language, his laughter when somebody at one of his rallies says shoot them, when talking about how we stop the invasion he's been warning us of when it comes to immigrants in this country. >> well, the president has been all over the place on gun control, of course. promising actionable background checks right after the shootings in el paso and dayton only to later retreat on that promise. earlier this week, he seemed more focused on whether or not the el paso victims liked him than what they wanted from him on gun control. >> are you talking to victims of the mass shootings? >> i did. i went to the hospitals. i will tell you this. i went to the hospitals. it was totally falsely reported. and frankly, you want to know
the truth? they love their president. and nobody wrote that. nobody wrote that. because you didn't write the truth. "new york times" doesn't like to write the truth. >> sir, what -- >> but they love -- they totally love our country, and they do love our president. >> nobody would meet with me. not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the room. of the room. >> last night, trump tweeted, i am hopeful congress will engage with my team to pass meaningful legislation that will make a real difference, and most importantly, save lives. i'm joined by former texas congressman and presidential candidate beto o'rourke. beto, thank you so much for joining us tonight. let's talk about what you have been saying. you said that the president's words have animated this violence. explain the connection between words and shooting people. >> when he was making his case to the country, announcing his candidacy for the presidency, he talks about mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, repeatedly warned of invasions from mexico and central america,
called asylum seekers animals. called them killers, called them predators, put their children in cages, deported their parents back to the very countries from which they fled. and you talked about this a little bit in the run-up to this interview. at that rally in may in florida, when he's warning of this invasion and he says how do we stop these people, someone yells out shoot them, and the crowd roars their approval, and he smiles. he says this is okay. and in the face of gun violence that has claimed 40,000 lives just in the last year, he's done nothing. he's complicit, actually corrupted by the nra. so he's driving a lot of this violence. i want to make clear, racism in america did not start with donald trump. but he's given it new life. he's welcomed it into the open, and along with that, the violence that drove somebody literally 600 miles from allen, texas, to el paso to kill 22 people in the city. so we have got to connect those dots or we're not going to stop the next mass shooting or the
next act of domestic terrorism inspired by white supremacy. >> what do you think he's up to when he does this? because the president is not stupid. he knows how words work. he knows how to rev up a crowd, when he says hit them on the way out? remember that, any protester, he would yell at people rough them up. the police, he says don't worry about banging their heads on the roof of the car when you put them in the squad car. he almost prescribes violence. >> yeah. i mean, part of the genius of this country is more or less, we're able to resolve our differences peacefully. democratically. i got a lot of hell from going to his inauguration in 2017, and i said, i go not to celebrate the man but the fact that we can still pull this off more than 240 years later. and yet, he's going to fundamentally destroy this ability for us to disagree in an agreeable manner. inviting that violence, telling
people of color to go back to their own country, though they were born here, though they're u.s. citizens in america. the day he signs his ban on muslim travel to the u.s., the mosque in victoria, texas, burned to the ground. gunman walks into the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh, raving about caravans financed by wealthy jewish americans. the president of the united states raving about caravans, and when asked if george soros is funding them, he says who knows, maybe he is. so you're right. this guy knows exactly what he's doing. what he's doing is ripping apart an already divided country and inviting violence into our politics and into our communities. latinos here in el paso, throughout america, now feel like they have a target on their back in large part thanks to donald trump. >> let's talk about your fight in the primary. you moved up a bit. you're getting a break from the lower pack. you're in a category of your own, i think, in the third tier. you may not like to hear it, but you're moving up. my question is this, if this all
ends at the end of next may, and the democrat -- because seth moulton just dropped out and said he's fearful this will happen, and the democratic party picks a nominee who appears very far left, and the american electorate, which is generally centrist, has to choose between trump and someone they're afraid of because they're so far left, do you worry about that? like seth moulton was worried when he quit the race today. >> chris, i'm so focused on being that nominee, on being able to carry texas and its 38 electoral college votes. revving up not just democrats but bringing independents and republicans as well who no longer have a home in the party of donald trump. >> will you carry texas, if you get the nomination, will you carry texas? >> absolutely. beto o'rourke, thank you for joining me. go ahead. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. beto o'rourke. that's one hell of a plan. up next, the amazon rain forest, which has been called the lungs of the earth for all kinds of environmental reasons
really is important to the whole globe, it's burning up. foreign leaders are calling it a global crisis, which it is, saying it should be a top priority at the g-7 this week, but the president of brazil, who is sort of mini trump, tells everybody to mind their own business. what happens next? you're watching "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." tonight, in what looks like a scene from an apocalyptic movie, dozens of fires continue to rage throughout the amazon, ravaging thousands of acres of forest, charring a region regarded as the lungs of the planet. the amazon is home to a tenth of all species of animals on the earth. also home to a million indigenous people. it also helps absorb massive amount of carbon dioxide. since january, almost 73,000 acres have been ravaged by fires.
that's an 83% increase in damage compared to the same period last year. there were fires last year. on tuesday, the same institute said it registered a new fire in the amazon every minute. the cause of the fires is unclear, but the amazon environmental research institute has stated that a recent increase in the number of fires is directly related to deliberate deforestation. the intense fires sent smoke and soot thousands of miles away, plunging brazil's largest city, there it is, midday darkness. if that's not climate change in your face, what is? brazil's president bolsonaro, a figure elected on the promise to open the amazon to development, has rebuffed the public outcry over the fires. he's accused left-wing nongovernmental organizations of setting the fires, and claimed that the media is exploiting the situation to undermine his government. who does he sound like? french president emmanuel macron who is hosting the g-7 this week, calls the wildfires an international crisis, tweeting
our house is burning literally. the amazon rain forest, the lungs which produce 20% of our planet's oxygen, is on fire. bolsonaro accused him of trying to seek personal gain from brazil's internal matters and accused macron of engaging in colonialist mentality, but scientists warn of dire consequences for brazil and the war if the government doesn't get control of the fires very soon. that's coming up next. you're watching "hardball." wat. back then, we checked our smartphones
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welcome back to "hardball." after initially telling reporters that the government lacked the resources to fight the fires in the amazon rain forest, and now under increasing international pressure, brazilian president bolsonaro late today signed an order deploying federal troops finally to battle the fires. this comes amid dire warnings from scientists that say losing just 20% of brazil's rain forest could accelerate global warming. as business insider reports, quote, these fires coupled with the deforestation losses could detry so many trees that they trigger a dooms' day scenario for the rain forest. the process would turn the amazon into an african savannah type of landscape. the tropical trees and the fauna they support would disappear, releasing 140 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere and
causing an uptick in rising global temperatures. for more i'm joined by david wallace wells, author of the "uninhabitable sucks carbon out atmosphere which mean it's basically our best tool in combatting climate change and the amazon is the biggest collection of that plant out there. it's doing the most photosynth sis and sucking all of the carbon out of the atmosphere. even before we get to the dieback scenario when the amazon collapses into a savannah which is a ways away, out of those trees are releasing carbon into the atmosphere, it's as though we're having huge coal plants
going out of control in the amazon in a place that used to actually absorb carbon. we don't have to wait until this impacts the climate change hopes it's already undermining them quite dramatically today. >> put it all together, when we see the giant icebergs breaking off in the arctic and we look at this in that part of the world and the war in the horn of africa, isn't this a sign of god or whoever that this is happening? it's all happening. it's want scientific theory, we're watching it. >> >> i think the last couple of years have shown us exactly that, europe is about to have its third record heat wave already this summer. they set records and then a week later they set record again and a month later we're going to set record again and there are extreme heat records being set in china. we're having in places like mozambique, historic storms followed a month later by storms that are just as bad and unprecedented fires and not just
in the atmosphere, but in california and the arctic circle and in siberia, there were fires burning the size of austria a few weeks ago and this was, as you say, just a few years ago that was something that we could only read about in predictions and projections and that's because the world is now just 1.1 degrees of warming and hotter than it's ever been in all of human history and we're almost certain to get twice as much warming as we have today and if we don't do anything about it perhaps three or four times as much warming which could produce truly catastrophic outcomes for the planet and the total loss of those ice sheets which could mean 260 feet of sea level rise. we could have a global gdp by the end of the century that was 30% smaller than it would be without climate change that's twice as deep as the great depression and it would be permanent. those impacts are still a century away and there could be a lot to do to avoid them.
at just 2 degrees which is likely which is where we'll be in 2040 and 2050 many of the big of the cities in the southeast will be unlivably hot in summer and you won't be able to go outside in the summer without dying. that's why the u.n. think we could have 200 million climate refugeeses, and 2 billion which is north and south america combined. i think those estimates are a little high and if you take the low-end figure and divide it in half and it's 100 times as big as the european refugee crisis that was produced by the civil war which has scrambled the politics of the continent and that's one of the e merging stories we're seeing in the amazon rain forest news cycle and also more broadly which is how geopolitics is playing into this crisis. not just how will politics respond, but how will climate force the hand of our leaders and perhaps push us into directions we never anticipated,
the kind of pressure that macron is talking about and will probably be applied at the g7, this is something that no leader has contemplated just a few years ago imposing sanctions or suspending trade deals in order to push leaders into line on the climate. i think personally, i think it's necessary, but it's also a completely different world that we're living in even just a few years ago with the signing of the accords. >> we have so-called leaders like bolsonaro and trump in the united states and in hungary and places like that in europe that are exploiting anger over climate change and immigration and they're fanning the flames literally and the reason for the immigration. >> yeah. it's a really toxic cocktail, and i think it's a phenomenon around the world and especially tragic when you think of climate change in the sense that if you had to imagine a global threat
that was big enough and all-encompassing enough to really call the world into a coordinated global action, climate change would be it. that's how big it is and that's how dangerous it is and yet we're facing this catastrophe, this crisis precisely at the moment when so many of the world's leaders are retreating from those arrangements and those alliances and a narrowly defined sense of self-interest which is exactly what bolsonaro has with the amazon, and exploiting the resources of that region in part because of trade deals with countries like the eu and the u.s. were essentially paying brazil to deforest the amazon, but it's also the case that he is -- that brazil is only going have to shoulder a very small slice of the burden for what happens. the rest of the world will have to deal with most of it, and so we need a kind of a system, i think, to evolve in which we line up these incentives so that each individual nation is not
encouraged to behave badly for their own while the rest of the world suffers. >> thank you very much. the social costs are well beyond the cost to that country. thank you. you're a very compelling spokesman for the need to act, david wallace wells from europe. we'll be back after this. you're watching "hard ball." wa" so they'll only pay for what they need. your turn to keep watch, limu. wake me up if you see anything. [ snoring ] [ loud squawking and siren blaring ] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? most pills don't finish the job because they don't relieve nasal congestion. flonase sensimist is different. it relieves all your worst symptoms, including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. it's more complete allergy relief.
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of "all in" before a live studio audience. >> we have initiated our domestic terrorism hate crimes fusion cell. >> the resurgence of america's original terror threat. once again, markets crater after a reckless trump tweet and shade, barack obama's white house photographer pete souza is here. >> at this point pete and i are like an old couple. >> now live from studio 6a in rockefeller plaza, here's chris hayes. [ cheers and applause ] >> hello! hello! good to see you! thank you! thank you very much. thank you. . thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. that was impressive. thank you very much. thank you. we've got a full house here in rockefeller center tonight. all of your lovely faces, thank you for being here and thank you for being with us at home. it's friday in the age of trump which means it's the end of another deepl