tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 18, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
one answer is that our director adam really wanted us to get special "beat" hats. we declined to do that, but we're proud of the pence. we also give them away. if you want to come to our facebook page, or e-mail if you don't like facebook, firstname.lastname@example.org and you want a pen and tell us, we will give it away. we have been doing that for some viewers. i'll show you those later in the week. "hardball" starts. now. trump attacks justice. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. as the trump russia probe into potential collusion gets closer to the white house, trump's defenders and allies have escalated their attacks on the special counsel, the justice department itself, and the fbi. this line of attack ramped up with the news that a demoted fbi official exchanged partisan text
messages with a colleague during the 2016 election. and despite the official, peter strzok was removed from mueller's team last summer, trump allies are calling for a purge of the country's top law enforcement institutions, even suggesting that the investigation itself represents a coup to disenfranchise trump voters. >> i think it's safe to say we now know we have the most corrupt fbi, the most corrupt justice department in our country's history. >> this bias is like an infection. it's like an incurrable cancer that is inoperable. and we've got to end this mueller probe. >> the only thing that remains is whether we have the fortitude to not just fire these people immediately but to take them out in cuffs. >> we're looking at this and we're seeing more and more that this is an attack on the presidency at levels we've never seen before. >> we may now uhave proof the investigation was weaponized to
destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes. and to disenfranchise millions of american voters. now if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in america. >> the fix was in against donald trump from the beginning. >> well, we know the talking points, don't we. amid that growing chorus, president trump assured voters on his return from camp david yesterday that he is not thinking about -- catch. this i'm not thinking about firing the special counsel. >> are you considering firing mueller? >> no. what else? what? you surprised? >> however, as "the washington post" reports, president trump may have his sights set on the man who has ultimately authority over the probe, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. according to two advisers, trump has complained that rosenstein has shown insufficient accountability on the special counsel's work. furthermore, trump has ranted about rosenstein as a democrat.
one of his advisers said and characterized him as a threat to his presidency. rosenstein is actually a republican and the story notes that george w. bush appointed him u.s. attorney in maryland. well, despite all this, a white house spokesperson tells "the washington post" that a shake-up at the department of justice is not on the way. simply, "the new york times" is reporting that the president is frustrated with the attorney general jeff sessions and the fbi director, the new guy, christopher wray. mr. trump has said that mr. wray has not moved quickly enough to move the bureau of senior officials who are biased against mr. trump. i'm joined right now by ken delaney, investigative report were msnbc news. and jon hamm with nbc news and nbc. i want to start with ken about this. what is this? is this a setup? is this setting the table, shaping the battlefield for "saturday night live" -- i'm sorry, a saturday night massacre, not live. dead. >> i think it absolutely could be that, chris. it's also aimed at the audience
of house republicans who may be one day presented with evidence by robert mule they're amount to impeachable offenses. so there is clearly a coordinated campaign here. i didn't think it was possible to demonize robert mueller, a vietnam combat veteran who took the helm of the fbi after 9/11 and made it a counterterrorism organization. but that's exactly what's happening. despite the fact that at the end of the day, the facts are what is going to matter here. the proof. look, ken starr, the special counsel investigating bill clinton was demonized as a right wing republican, which he was. but at the end of the day he proved that bill clinton lied under oath. and that was without question. i'm not sure that this demonizing robert mueller in the investigation is going to matter in the end unless trump actually goes through with a plan to either try to remove him or otherwise take action against him, chris. >> jon, purely political question. what about this word coup, like
coup d'etat. whether it's the fbi, the press core, anybody, the court, everybody is out to kill the republic, basically get rid of the results of the 2016 election. >> look, it's a much more flagrant kind of a language that's designed to rile people up. deep state is what they're talking about. >> yeah. >> but deep state is not the kind of thing that inspires outrage and panic and insurrection. this language is dangerous, and we've been around long enough to see this virulent anti-government language leads to. it leads to blowing up the murrah building in oklahoma city. this hopefully will not get there. that's the potential consequence of it. but the politics of it to ken's point, i think it could also be consequential on where it's setting up house republicans if they maintain control of the house after the midterms. they may be faced with an impeachment question. and if they have things to cling to, arguments to make to the
republican base that this has all been the fix is in against donald trump, as kellyanne conway said, that's the kind of thing house republicans who are taking up this language increasingly as if getting talking points directly from the white house. you can imagine him saying we can't impeach him no matter what mueller says because he has been this the bag from day one. >> when do you expect his results to come in from mueller? do you expect next year while the democrats are still out of power or possibly in '19 when they're in power in the house? >> i always thought this was going to be a long running investigation. and if you think about the history of these kinds of investigations, the flynn thing happening this late, the notion that this thing is going to come to a conclusion as some people around trump seem to think over the course of the next few months, i think it could easily run through next year because there are things about the investigation that seem to be widening rather than narrowing. >> jennifer rogers, you're a prosecutor. it seems to me even criminals, hard street criminal, they go to jail, they may rail against the
system, but they don't call the whole system corrupt. they don't take on the government and say everything is -- it sounds like third world talk, the kind of situation where if you lose an election, it was corrupt. if somebody is prosecuted, it's corrupt. or it's prosecutorial overkill where the guy loses the election so you put him in jail or hang him. that's the language trump is using now of a third world nation, i would say. >> it is. it's one thing to hear it on cable news from right wing pundits. it's another thing to me when you have lawmakers and former law enforcement officials talking this way. it's really irresponsible. i mean, talking about some sort of lawless uprising against the government when the people running this investigation and the people running these agencies that are now under attack are trump's people. these are republicans. these are people that trump and his people put into power. and there is not a shred of evidence that anything that mueller in his investigation has done has been improper. so to throw around words like corrupt and conflicts of interest and certainly coup, to
me it's irresponsible, especially from the people who have a legal background and really should know better in terms of what they're saying is not matching up at all with the law. >> you know, i worked for years with jeanine pirro. i had her on the program all the time. and i always liked her book about some of these horrific cases about wife beating and killing people and horrible domestic situations. and now she is saying things they shouldn't just be knocked out of power that. >> should be put in handcuffs. i'm trying to imagine, what would be the crime that mueller is guilty of or that rosenstein is guilty of or any of the people prosecuting the president. what crime can she be snauk. >> right, exactly. from the former west chester district attorney talking about taking mueller and his team out in handcuffs, it's just silly, right? it's just for news there is no way in the world there are any crimes anyone is talking about. you better believe that if mueller had any sense that anyone on his team had committed a crime, we would be hearing about it loud and career. it's just rhetoric. the problem sits dangerous rhetoric. and really, to me, someone like
jeanine pirro and also the lawmakers shouldn't be saying things like this. they know better. >> our mid looming threat that the president may try to end the federal investigation of him. there are signs the republican-dominated investigation in the house of representatives will soon come to an end. quote, senior republicans on the house intelligence committee tell nbc news that they hope and expect to draw their year-long investigation to an end in the coming weeks, though democrats say they have requested as many as 30 additional interviews with new witnesses, none have been scheduled beyond the end of the month. ken, what's up with the house republicans? are they just willing to play ball for trump to quash this investigation for his purposes? >> in a word, yes, chris. this is great reporting by our colleague mike memory who went to the hill and got in the faces of these guys and got them to say on the record which we've long been hearing privately, they want to wrap this thing up. republicans like trey gowdy were helping some of the witnesses.
in one case, jared kushner who wanted to stay and answer some more questions from democrats and gowdy said you don't have the stay because no matter what you say, they're still going to say you didn't answer all the questions. that kind of stuff infuriated democrats behind the scenes. it's very clear there is an incredible inconsolable partisan divide here. the republicans want to wrap this up. the democrats feel like there is about 30 witnesses they would still like to call, lots of documents they would like the get and they just don't have the power to do it. so the republicans are moving this train down the track, whether anybody likes it or not. >> this barrage of attacks comes amid a new development in the russian story. just after he received the nomination in the summer of 2016, catch this story, donald trump was warned, warned that foreign adversaries, including russia would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter. however, it's unclear whether the warni ing about russia was passed on to other campaign
officials. what do you make about the fact that trump got a warning not to engage himself with the russians? be careful, they're coming to deal with you. >> i think this really undermines the defense we've been hearing all along about the trump campaign's contacts with russians which is hey, these guys are political novices. they didn't really understand that it's not normally done. that campaigns don't meet with russians or foreign adversaries. well, somewhere along the way, donald trump was told, was put on notice by the fbi that yes, there was a threat here, that these people want to spy on your campaign, want to infiltrate, want to recruit your people and you should watch out for it. we don't know what if anything donald trump did about it. but we do know there is no evidence that anybody ever reported any of these car, including that trump tower meeting that his son hosted with the russians to the fbi. and we know that meetings happened after this fbi counterintelligence briefing, including an exchange between don jr. and wikileaks. and jeff session went and met with the russian ambassador. and during the transition you
had mike flynn meeting with the russian ambassador talking about sanctions and allegedly lying it. the briefing did not seem to have the desired effect, chris. >> jennifer, does ignorance of the law even count? i assume it doesn't. carter page, some of these people you wonder if they know anything. and jared kushner, the son-in-law, he is a wealthy young guy. he knows nothing about the world. and then you have the other guy, eric jr. -- i mean don jr. and eric. they're out there engaging in worldwide diplomacy with one of our adversaries, russia, acting like they're going to the baseball game for the weekend. are they in trouble for just being dingbats? is that going to protect them? >> well, no, typically not. ignorance of the law is no excuse as the saying goes. and that actually the law. but here we even have ignorance of the fax. i think another thing that's interesting about this notion of this briefing is that not only, you know, it is like ken said. but trump maintained from the beginning there were no contacts, that there was no effort. so yet again here is another piece of evidence on the pile of there were so many contacts with
the russians, and he could expect that that was going to happen, and we never heard a word of it from him hen he started getting asked about the russians and were there contacts and what contact there's were. >> you know, i talked to john. i think there is a big fight going on. it's starting right now. it's a battle between the trump people who believe they can hold 30 to 40% of the country on their side in a battle not just the liberal press or the media, but against all institutions -- the courts, the fbi, everything. even moderate republicans. the republican party establishment. they think they can blow out, they can just blow all that stuff out and survive. that seems like a pretty big fight historically. >> well, it's a pretty big fight. they have a lot of evidence to work with that they have so far. and flute the history of the trump campaign and now into his presidency, there have been people like you, people like me who said well, there has to be a breaking point with the republican establishment. >> yeah. >> with moderate republicans, whatever that means in our world today. and there hasn't been. trump has been able to basically hold the loyalty of most of his
congressional republicans, who might privately say terrible things about them. many of them do. but you look up bob corker, turns around. >> look at that guy. >> after saying the trump -- essentially trump's not fit for office and we'd never vote for a tax plan that increases a dime of the deficit, he comes out over the weekend and votes for the trump tax plan. a couple of weeks ago people were painting him as a profile in courage. the republicans have stayed loyal to trump. they've held their nose throughout. i think that's one of the thing that fuels this notion in trump's immediate orbit that they can win because the press is always going to be the liberal media in quotes is always going to be a whipping boy for republicans and for him. but even the places where you would need to have a break, those key elements of the republican party, every time they have stress tested it, the republicans have stuck with them. so thaer they're encouraged that they won't leave him. >> when i watch with that baseball cap on and the attitude and the strut, i do not see an
elected leader of a republic. he he is one, but he doesn't act like one hi, he is one. and i'll just say just to bring this conversation back to the russia topic where we were a second ago. i was astonished to see today on cnn jim clapper, one of the longest standing in the intelligence community essentially calling the president a russian asset today. he came out and said about vladimir putin, he knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he has been doing with the president. that's an extraordinary thing. put aside the baseball half. >> that's robert mueller's goal in life is to find fought that's true. thank you, ken dlanian, it's always great to work with a pro. and jennifer, always greet have you on with your expertise and john heilemann. the democrats are revved up for 2018. look at these numbers we're going to show you of winning the house of representatives and the senate. our new polling points to a blue wave that may be whiching across the country. that's ahead. lots of good numbers for democrats watching.
plus, the trump tower tax cut. that's what we call it. it's on its way to passage, even though it raises taxes on the middle class, raises them, cuts taxes for the very wealthy, and doesn't simplify. no this thing about we're going to be able to do our taxes on a postcard. forget about it. forget about it. no wonder half the country thinks the bill is going the raise their taxes. and in his america first speech today on national security strategy, donald trump called russia and china our rival powers. but this is tough talk match his action? we're going to get to that with the "hardball" round table. what do you hear? the main elements of his strategy for the world. let my finish tonight with trump watch. he will not like this one, but it's right. it's right to say. this is "hardball," where the action is.
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welcome back to "hardball." the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll has very good news for democrats ahead of next year's congressional elections. catch this. 50% of registered voter says they prefer a democratic-controlled congress. only 39% say they want republicans running the congress. that's the biggest lead for democrats since september of 2008. of course, right before obama got elected president. also in the poll, 59% of democrats say they have a high level of interest in the campaign, in the election, rather. among republicans, that number is down to 49. a lot more democrats want to show up. by the way, people voted for hillary clinton, 62% can't wait for this election. only 50% of the trump voters are
looking forward to it. big difference in intensity. according to "the washington post," the white house is planning a full throttle campaign to plunge the president into the midterm elections. quote, the president has told advisers that he wants to travel extensively and hold rallies, and he is looking forward to spending much of 2018 campaigning. wow.
well, today he pushed back on the doom and gloom narrative. quote, remember, republicans are 5-0, this is trump. the media refuses to mention. this i said gillespie and moore would lose, and they did. i also predicted i would win. republicans will do well in 2018. he said, very well. well, the president is leaving out the fact that he endorsed gillespie and moore and they both lost. we all know that. he doesn't. i'm joined by margaret carlson and bret stephens. thank you, all. let me start with margaret. it seems to me midterm elections are never good news for any white house. this time i have a sense there is a lot of rematch mentality going on, if not revenge from the hillary voters especially. >> yes.
they're rethinking their choices. and, you know, the blue wave is going to take place i think among women and in the disturbs. >> the millennials. the young people. >> the millennials you. still have to put a face with this generic desire for a democratic-controlled congress. and coming up with good candidates is always hard. i want to mention the nassau county election that just took place in november. it's never had a woman, hasn't had a democrat for four decades. a woman who ran for the school board and won, ran for county supervisor and won. but not a big name. went against the republican machine and won that. nassau is larger than 13 other states. and by the way, this candidate is laura curran. >> great gatsby country. >> it is. there are working class parts. but it is a republican place. and she won there. and i think that's what we're going to see. we're going to see these places that have been traditionally republican, and we're going to see a lot of women running.
>> that is exactly what happened in delaware county, one of the most republican counties historically in pennsylvania. let me go to bret stephens on this. look at these numbers. women 20% spread for the democrats. a 20% edge among women. a 48% -- a 48 difference. republicans are running 21% among people under 35. and democrats 69%. i've never seen a spread like that in any age group. what is that somebody can you figure that? the kid army out there waiting for democrats. >> well, maybe. but i think viewers should be cautioned not the read too much into these polls. first of all, we're still 11 months out from the midterms. a few other numbers the democrats should be worried about, 4.1%. that's the unemployment rate. 24% is the jump in the dow in the last year. and you know, look, this election is going to go one two of ways, chris. either it's going to be 1994,
big wave election against an incumbent president who had made himself suddenly unpopular. but the alternative is it's going to be 1998. scandal-ridden president, half the country wants to impeach him. there is a moral fervor there is a sense that he has behaved very badly towards women that was the year clinton was facing charges with respect to monica lewinsky. and at the end of the day, the democrats still ended up with i think four or five seats in congress, exceeding expectations. so in many of these cases, economy trumps morality. just beware. >> okay, margaret. it seems to me there is a difference between -- the democrats back then said personal life doesn't matter that was the move on argument. now it's the other party's idea. they say that now. but the trump probe compared to month california. it's hard to say that the trump probe is not relevant to our national security, that another country invaded us basically politically. >> and that he doesn't care about it. and he still doesn't care about
it. and the president is still not going to do anything about it. it never comes up. there is no study going on within the trump administration. but you have me too, plus you have russia. plus you have an administration that doesn't really govern there is not a lot of governing going on except to dismantle rules and regulations. one thing you had to give to clinton, all through that awful monica business was he kept governing. >> he was able to live in a very compartmentalized world hi, did. >> let me get back to brett. you said something that might be true, it might not be. if the market keeps going up, the dow keeps rising, people's 401(k)s keep getting better. people with wealth and equity and stock keep getting wealthier. but how much does that affect the average person's salary? and the money that comes to the person making 70 a year for a family. are they better off? >> look, that's obviously the $64,000 question. while you've had kind of good
top-line figure, you've had stagnant wage growth. >> yeah. >> and if that continues to be the case, then that's problematic. on the other hand, it's the people who have been hardest hit by stagnant wages that have been most emphatic in their support for trump. and i don't see that voting bloc moving. what i'm trying to make an argument here for is not making the wish, the proverbial father of the thought. democrats need to be a party that's about more than just being opposed to a temperamentally and intellectually unfit president. they have to be a party that stands for things and communicates those things very clearly to voters before next november. >> i think you can be both. i'm afraid i agree with brett. what unites the democrats today is contempt for trump because he has contempt for the country. >> but also, we know from every survey that's been taken of the people that are going to get the tax break, corporations and the top 1% that they're not planning to spend it on raising wages.
they're planning to spend it on dividends or reinvestment. and to brett's $64,000 question, we do have the answer that trickled down, it never trickles down. >> we're going going to get to that the next soigegment. up next, a look at the republicans' false claims about the trump tower tax cut. because it is for people like him. it helps the rich. it hurts the middle class and doesn't make the tax code any simpler. you're not going to get a postcard tax form. no. it's going to be complicated. when you figure it out, you're going to learn that you lose. this is "hardball," where the action is. push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does. and while some advisers are happy to earn commissions from you whether you do well or not, fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers.
i'm milissa rehberger with breaking news. at least three people were killed and dozens injured when an amtrak train derailed from a highway overpass in washington state. nbc news's jim foreman has a live update from the scene. >> that's right. i just talked with the chief of the washington state patrol. they tell us now that three people are confirmed dead. the fire chief here tells me that they have now searched the entire train, and they do not expect to find anyone else dead on the scene here. however, some of those who have been transported, 100 transported to area hospitals, some of those are in critical condition. at this point, investigators really have no clue. there is nothing jumping out at them as to why all of the sudden this inaugural run of this train that was supposed to bring east coast acela high speed rail to the west coast derailed just after it left tacoma,
washington. what was a very, very big day for this project that's been years in the making. the ntsb is on the way. the coroner says their job here is done. i'm jim foreman. now back to you. >> jim, thank you. back to "hardball." my whole life i've been greedy, greedy, greedy. i grabbed all the money i can get. i'm so greedy. but now i want to be greedy for the united states. i want to grab all that money. i'm going to be greedy for the united states. >> tax reform will protect low income and middle income households. not the wealthy and well connected. they can call me all they want. it's not going to help. i'm doing the right thing. and it's not good for me, believe me. >> in all fairness, this is going to cost me a fortune, believe me. this is not good for me. me, it's not -- have i some very
wealthy friends. not so happy with me. but that's okay. >> pt barnum at work. welcome back to "hardball." that's donald trump campaigning as a man of the people. but the tax bill shows he is boosting america's elite. late today the senate locked up enough votes to pass a tax plan that the majority of americans disapprove. the house of representatives is set to vote on the bill tomorrow. the bill will then head to the senate for passage. looks like it's done according to a new monmouth university poll. 447% of american disapprove. they're up against it 2-1 they don't like it. the poll says half americans believe their own taxes are going up because of this bill. and according to "the washington post," the groups that get the most out of the bill are major corporations and america's top earners who le see their rates slashed. president trump's own family stands to gain a lot which extends tax breaks for corporate real estate ventures in particular and would double estate tax exemptions. and despite republican promises,
catch this, it does not simplify the task of forget about the postcard return. the bill will also get rid of obamacare's individual mandate which according to the congressional budget office will increase premiums and leave 13 million americans without coverage. i'm joined by lance, republican from new jersey, and charlie dent, republican from pennsylvania. so congressman lance, where are you on this bill? you're going to have to vote? >> i'm voting no tomorrow. i want retention of the deductibility of state and local taxes. in their entirety. >> so you're voting blue state? >> i'm voting new jersey. >> yes, that's right. >> why do you think trump is going after states like new york, new jersey, california? why do you think he picked them snout do you think it has to do with the fact they voted against him in the last election? >> no, chris. thing coming out of the how many times and the united states senate. unfortunately, there are no united states senators from these states. and many of my colleagues are from the south and the rocky mountain. >> no republican senators.
>> no republican senators and i can understand the perspective of other states. but new jersey is a sending state, not a receiving state. i think that has to be taken into consideration. >> in other words you send more to washington than you get back. mr. dent, i'm interested in your vote. you're giving up the congress, but you're voting pro-business. aren't you? >> well, yeah. i'm leaning yes. i'm still reviewing the bill. >> the top rate goes from 39.6 down to 37. that's a huge bundle of money for wealthy people. if you make in the millions, these are $100,000 for every million you make tax cut. just right like that. so if you make a lot of money, it's $100,000 per million. these people make a lot of money in the tax cut here because of trump. >> i think part of the reason that was put in, i would have preferred keeping it at the higher rate. but i think the reason was because of the state and local tax deduction. they want the give some benefit. >> why would you vote to double the exemption for estate tax so somebody could give $22 million without paying any estate tax. that's a loft money. >> you remember the fiscal
cliff. we took it up to about 5.5 million and 10. >> per person. >> per person. correct. we did that because we wanted to protect the number of family farms and family businesses. take it up to 20, that should protect most family farms and businesses. >> is that the purpose of this thing? >> it's better than repealing it outright. >> a little christmas gift to the wealthy. the corporate tax goes down from 35 to 20. that's a lot more money they keep in the corporations in their till. >> 21. >> okay. okay. 21. 35 to 21. then you take down the top rate down to 37. then you get rid of the alternative minimum tax. then you get rid of double the exemption for the estates. if you're making a loft money you get breaks everywhere in this thing. maybe not with the tax deduction for the state and local. but everywhere else you're making a bundle. congressman? >> i do think that certainly those who maypay the most will benefit the most. i also do favor, however, chris, doubling the standard deduction. and that will help quite a few americans. on balance, i'm not voting for it.
but i do think doubling the standard deduction will be help to feel many americans. >> while republicans are getting some serious pushback over last-minute change they inserted into the tax plan. news of the change was uncovered by international business times over the weekend which reported, quote, the new provision was not in the bill passed by the house or the senate. instead it was inserted into the final bill during reconciliation negotiations between republicans and both chambers. the last-minute tweak would supply tax breaks to companies based on investments. and guess what? real estate. the number two republican in the senate, john cornyn from texas was asked about the change during his interview on abc news. let's watch him. >> so picking out one piece in a thousand-page bill and saying, well, this is going to benefit somebody, i just think it takes a whole bill out of context. >> except that this provision wasn't included in the house or senate bill, apparently was added at the last minute. why was that done? >> we were working very hard. it was a very intense process. the democrats refused to participate. and we've tried to do is cobble
together the votes we need odd to get this bill passed. >> pure political expediency. the change would be a multimillion-dollar tax windfall for reemts investigators like president trump's children and several members of congress. you know, when the senate doesn't pass something and the house doesn't pass it, how are the people involved? how does this come out of a meeting between the house and the senate and why don't we give a little break to the real estate industry and then we can get a couple more votes out of this. that's what he just said. the top whip of the senate said the reason we're putting this in is to help pull together enough votes to get it passed in both houses. but it wasn't passed in either house. the representatives never voted for this thing yet it's been thrown in over the weekend. that democratic government? >> it's certainly not idea. >> it is government by the people? >> well, i'll tell you, as i understand that provision, i just left the meeting. >> why did they throw it in over the weekend when nobody is watching before the bill is vote on? it doesn't come from the people. >> i understand. i tell you i think part of what
that was a provision that dealt with reemts investment and industrial parks. the passing provisions of this bill are very complex. and most of the benefits are going to accrue to companies that invest in capital. >> parachuted into the conference room and pushed it? >> i'm not sure who parachuted in. i understand. >> i know how it works. you think this is a nice piece of legislation? >> i'm voting no tomorrow. leonard lance voting new jersey. and congressman charlie dent voting for bill. up next, president trump makes an america first special team about national security. he blamed his predecessors, of course. it's a pretty interesting speech that has nothing to do with trump. you're watching "hardball."
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for many years, our citizens watched as washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another. our leaders drifted from american principles. they lost sight of america's destiny, and they lost their belief in american greatness. with every decision and every action, we are now putting america first. >> welcome back to "hardball" that was president trump today blaming the failures of past leadership on national security strategy. while his remarks centered on his america first policy, his scripted rhetoric didn't sound very different from the strategies of his predecessors. watch. >> our ability to live in freedom. we're fighting for the cause of humanity against those who seek to impose the darkness of tyranny and terror. >> the threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. this is our strategy to destroy
isil. it is designed and supported by our military commanders and counterterrorism experts. together with 65 countries that have joined an american-led coalition. >> our strategy emphasizes strengthening alliances to cope with these threats. it recognizes that our strength is magnified by allies who share principles. we will not allow inflexible ideology to become an obsolete and obstacle to peace. >> let's bring in "hardball's" -- tonight's "hardball" round table. vivian salaam and shannon petty's piece from bloomberg rear and neera hack is a senior adviser for president obama. i want your takes one at a time. what did you make of it? is it trumpian or standard stuff? >> it was extremely trumpian. and the thing is it's quite different from the actual text the national security strategy which is a lot more moderate in
tone. the speech today was very much his trademarks. a lot of his go-to that we want a wall, we need to protect our borders, et cetera. >> the future of the mexicans? >> that's within of his biggest campaign promises and he is still trying to assert that. it does come in the strategy, but not the same rhetoric, the same tone that trump used in the speech today. >> i would definitely agree with you on the differences between the text, the 60-some page document put out on the speech. i would point out one example of russia. the text of the strategy is very strict on russia. it calls them out for the cyberactions. it calls them out for trolls and fake internet personas. it calls them out as a threat to democracy. yet in the speech, trump spent most of his time talking about the great relationship he has with putin and how they thanked each other and how they're helping each other and working together. so i was very struck chen i read the text and watched the speech to they're two different things. >> here is the question that looms. did he read this thing he put out, this multipage document because it doesn't square with the words he spoke.
i would think he would at least breeze through it at once. >> he certainly had a heavy hand in the cover page. >> a summary. >> that sounds exactly like the donald trump we have all seen on the campaign trail and have seen on twitter. a very bleak view. we're the victims of economic aggression, we're part of a failing economic and world order. but the rest of the text is clearly written by staff who are hoping to have some kind of consistency in u.s. foreign policy. and the theory that it might help our allies. they actual le even talk about maintaining relationships with allies while donald trump in his own speech, in his own efforts has been undermining that in the state department. >> you're a former world leader. you worked at state. you know all this stuff. i mean it. what does somebody over in england or germany or somebody in afghanistan when they read the president's speech on reuters or whatever, and then they read this document. which do they go with? >> they're absolutely going to go with what the president says. they will go with an errant tweet over anything written in
this strategy. theres that been clearly a lot of thought put into it to get it out in the first year. which is a big deal. obama and bush did not get it out so early. >> enough tlintellectualism. he moved the embassy. he already started the third intifada. my belief sits going grow and grow and grow, this trouble over here. the arabs hate. this because they do have a dream of having east jerusalem as their capital. they want that. they have been always sort of teased with it. everything else he does, it just looks like i can't even start. the paris accord, dropping that. he just seems to knock everything. everything the world was trying to get together on, and he is also pretty much pro brexit. he wants to blow up that thing over in europe. he seems to want anything that makes sense. >> he has taken a foreign policy document and made it entirely about delivering to his base there is nothing really in his activity and his action that plays well for the outside world and shows that he is willing to support or work with other
people. >> it look likes trouble. anyway, the round table is sticking with us. up next, three scoops are coming our way we'll be talking about tomorrow. don't you think? i know it. you're watching "hardball." i am totally blind. and non-24 can make me show up too early... or too late. or make me feel like i'm not really "there." talk to your doctor, and call 844-234-2424.
when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night, so he got home safe. yeah, my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. what?! you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. remember that trump nominee for judgeship who couldn't answer basic questions of the law? well, he has withdrawn his nominations to the federal bench. his name is matthew peterson. he admitted in his confirm nation hearing last week he never tried a case, and he couldn't answer questions from republican senator john kennedy of louisiana.
here he goes. >> have you ever tried a jury trial? >> have i not. >> civil? no. >> criminal? >> no. >> bench? >> no. >> state or federal court? >> i have not. >> do you know what a motion in limeni is? >> yes. again, my background is not in litigation. >> do you know what the younger extension doctrine is? >> i've heard of it. >> how about the pullman doctrine? you all see that a lot in federal court. >> reminds me of gary johnson's answers when i asked if he admired any world leader. he couldn't name one. that tape went viral with peterson calling it a distraction in his resignation letter to the president. it was the only attraction. we'll be back after this. my dad's.
>> since we're dressed for holidays i want to talk christmas. 98% of americans celebrate christmas, according to a new pew research survey. but the role of religion is declining in the holiday. more people are actually -- more people are talking about the cultural aspect of it instead of religion. in fact, it's down to 46% who say they celebrate for religion versus 51 in 2013. millennials less likely. >> i sense that's true. shannon? >> one thing that has been overlooked in this national security strategy is the absence of climate change in there. and climate change is a national security issue. and that probably shouldn't be a surprise given this administration's stance on climate change and the paris climate agreement. but general mattis has come out and said he believes national security is dependent on climate change. and the pentagon and the defense department have been looking into it. so it is a definite shift that this is no longer a priority. >> how does it work? what is the national security aspect impact? >> everything from bases, making sure that they're not on islands that are going to be underwater, famine, drought, and how that
could shift the power dynamics in different regions. even infectious disease and how it could spread differently in climate change. >> well, thank you. nayyera? >> stunning article in "the new york times" over the weekend about the use of trump as a racial divisive epithet there is a story out there about how in several small towns across america, as you have high school students, white suburbia, inner city students playing against each other, you start hearing chants of "trump, trump, trump" as if that is evidence of the racial divide in this country. >> so the african american countries hold it against the white suburbs? is that it? >> it's more the other way. it's trump is going to send you home. trump will take care of this problem. >> what? white kids are doing it? >> and that has been -- instead of the full sentence, it comes down to just chants of trump as symbolizing this. >> your father is going to work for my father, that kind of stuff. >> i don't think anybody ever did that with lincoln. >> no, i don't think so. thank you, vivian salama,
shannon pettypiece and haq. this is one of the best. i mean it. when we return, we return with trump watch. you're watching "hardball." (avo) when you have type 2 diabetes, you manage your a1c, but you also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. non-insulin victoza® lowers a1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill. (avo) and for people with type 2 diabetes treating cardiovascular disease, victoza® is now approved to lower the risk of major cardiovascular events
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unquestioned power in this country was to fire the fbi director. it's the same reason why richard nixon tried to quash the fbi investigation of the watergate break-in. that effort that formed the smoking gun, the white house audiotape that cost nixon the presidency. robert mueller was a long-time director of the fbi. i sense, though i can't prove it, that it was trump's firing of fbi director comey that led him, mueller, to accept the position of special counsel. institutions have pride. people are proud to associate with them and dedicate their lives to them like the fbi. second, honest politicians. i believe that the special counsel mueller unearths hard evidence of presidential wrongdoing in the russian probe, lawmakers like north carolina's senator richard burr and virginia's mark warner will do the right thing. it was north carolina's sam irvin, after all, a conservative democrat who spearheaded the senate watergate committee that drove the public verdict on nixon. third, and obviously a free press. "the washington post" is famed for breaking the story of the
watergate cover-up, tracing the break-in all the way to the oval office. today the country's major metropolitan newspapers, the times, the post and the journal are doing the same with the russia probe. in tend, it will be the quiet men and women who work in the city of washington who despite the all the brickbats thrown against them will end up protecting this republic. they do so not as participants in a coup, as a trump ally just argued, but as people doing their jobs. and that's "hardball" for now. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> there is no collusion there is no collusion whatsoever. >> the fbi's warning to candidate trump about russia. >> russia, if you're listening -- >> why the trump campaign didn't report russia's advances. >> the pretext of the meeting was hey, have i information about your opponent. plus, a big piece of evidence obtained by the special counsel. >> can you imagine what was on those e-mails? then, the plot to stop mueller thinkin