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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  May 2, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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>> a new statement from vice president mike pence in phoenix last night hailing sheriff arpaio for being a champion of the rule of law. we can tell you arpaio was found to have basically broken the law and admitted guilt bicepsing that pardon. he peddled aid birther conspiracy against obama and would have been headed for jail except for the trump pardon. that was donald trump's first pardon. we wanted to get that note in there. our show is over. "hardball" starts now. >> krufs. let's play "hardball." \ >> krufs. let's play "hardball." s >> krufs. let's play "hardball." >> krufs. let's play "hardball." h >> krufs. let's play "hardball." a >> krufs. let's play "hardball." r >> krufs. let's play "hardball." d >> krufs. let's play "hardball." b >> krufs. let's play "hardball." a >> krufs. let's play "hardball." l >> krufs. let's play "hardball." l >> krufs. let's play "hardball." ckrufs. let's play "hardball." rkrufs. let's play "hardball." ikrufs. let's play "hardball." skrufs. let's play "hardball." iskrufs. let's play "hardball." . let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington tonight. we're seeing early indications of a constitutional showdown. special counsel robert mueller told the president's lawyers he could subpoena the president toe testify.
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"the washington post" reports that mueller's warning came last month amid negotiations over whether president trump would agree to speak to prosecutes voluntarily. when trump's lawyers said the president had no obligation to talk, mueller responded that he had another option if trump declined. he could issue a subpoena for the president to appear before a grand jury. as "the washington post" notes, it was the first time he is known to have mentioned a possible subpoena to trump's legal team. trump's former lawyer, john dowd, reportedly then told mueller you are screwing with the work of the president of the united states. minutes ago, trump quoted dowd's statement on twitter adding, with north korea, china, the mideast, and so much more, there's not much time to be thinking about this. especially since there was no russian collusion. the standoff over the president's testimony could provoke a constitutional showdown should the president refuse to comply with the subpoena. refuse an order to testify.
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that would leave it to the supreme court to determine whether it's constitutional to subpoena a president for his testimony. and more to the point, whether the president must comply with a subpoena. amid this comes news of another shake-up to the president's legal team. it was announced today the president's hiring veteran attorney emmitt flood who represented bill clinton during his impeachment to replace ty cobb who is retiring at the end of this month. nbc news reports the recruitment of flood sends a clear signal that the team plans to rely heavily on a legal strategy long voenged by current current white house council don mcgahn to exert executive privilege more aggressively. the man serving as trump's new lead attorney, rude did giuliani, also favors the more aggressive approach as he decides whether the president should testify voluntarily or risk a subpoena. as he told "the washington post," some people have talked about a possible 12-hour interview. that's not going to happen.
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i'll tell you that. it would be max, max two to three hours around a narrow set of questions. that's his rules. joining me is the reporter who spoke to giuliani today, robert costa and julia ansley is a national security reporter with nbc news and paul butler, a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst. robert, give me a sense of play, of the play the state of play of rudy guiliani on this question. are we redding to a constitutional crisis? are theytology reject, ignore, whatever override a subpoena from mueller? how tough are they going to be here? >> well, they're going to be tough in the sense this is a more aggressive strategy. we're watching it play out around the president of the united states moving away from ty cobb who preached cooperation for months. said to the president if you cooperate, if you don't exert executive privilege that maybe the mueller probe would end. after all those promises a lot
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of frustration inside of the white house and outside. and they're moving to giuliani to try to be more aggressive in the negotiations with mueller over an interview and emmett flood, a veteran lawyer seen as a combative force. >> you know, i understand the president's strength with regard to attitude politically. his attitude of anti-establishmentism, his tough guy all worked for him. when it comes to the court ruling by the supreme court ultimately and standing up to mueller who is also tough, what good is the attitude of a giuliani do him? just saying i'm going to be tough doesn't mean you'll end up being tough if the courts rule against you. >> they're in this legal dance about a presidential interview whether it should happen or not, giuliani tells me today he wants a real narrow set of questions. the president wouldn't sit down unless they get more information from mueller weigh wants to ask. giuliani told me it the interview would be two or three hours. no situation where the president sits down for 10 or 12 hours to talk to mueller.
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they're not ready to fight it all the way to the supreme court, at least not yet. >> how can they limit the questions once they get in there. >> rudy guiliani can say i'm tough. we don't want it talk about his business dealings from the past, anything except the russian probe itself, whether there was collusion by the president and his people with the russians. can he narrow it that way? can he trust mueller tore stick to those questions once the president's under oath, they can seems to me ask him anything they want. >> that's right. these agreements are always fluid in legal cases. giuliani knows that the mueller team wants to ask about possible obstruction of justice and been russia collusion, the two main traction of the investigation. they don't want to see the questions go over what the president once called had his red line to start talking about his business dealings and all that. this is a sprawling probe. as you know, a lot of these investigators tough prosecutors from the justice department. they don't want to back down and be narrowed to any set of
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questions. >> let me go back to the question, you and i have grown up watching courtroom shows on tv and noticed always the defense attorney says narrow your answer. let me go to paul on this. a much better question for paul. most of the time we watch a defense attorney say narrow your answer and he says keep the answer yes or no. were you there? no, i didn't. it seems to me they're asking essay questions. these 49 questions are all how did you feel, what were you planning, all this motive and purpose and everything and knowledge. do you think anybody's going to let their client answer these essay questions? ask me a specific question, i'll give you a specific answer. don't ask me what i was thinking. >> absolutely not. so if the question is whether the president's lawyer can trust robert mueller, the answer is yes. if the question is whether the president's lawyer can trust
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president trump, the answer is no. and so of course, they want open-ended questions, what were you thinking when you fired james comey? what were you thinking when you asked those national intelligence officials if they could give michael flynn a brick. they want the president to do what he does so well which is to ramble on and on and implicate himself even more which is why no responsible lawyer is going to let this president go in front of the grand jury and with bob mueller running the show. it would be a legal suicide mission for the president. >> joy, what do you think of the president's defense on his tweet just moments ago? i'm too busy with matters important to us all to sit down for a couple hours with mueller? >> that's certainly preaching to his base which is what he uses twitter to do. he wants to communicate. this is all getting in the way
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of this nobel prize worthy work that i'm trying to do here. i think the bottom line is, they are now in such final stages of this negotiation that from what robert's reporting it sounds like giuliani is acknowledging they could do two to three hours. we were in a different place two to three weeks ago when they were saying there had be no interview at all. a big piece that got them to that part is this threat of subpoena. the idea we've been talking about all week, can he be subpoenaed, mueller has the ability to throw that down. the question is whether or not the president will comply. it seems to giuliani, he's at a place where he doesn't want to be arguing over what they're going to comply with and seeing his client go before a grand jury. he wants to bring it back where he has more control. he has control if he can limit the time and talk to his client. >> clinton only talk aid couple hours at most as i recall. >> if these are the questions he's getting into, he could keep it at two to three hours.
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the president is long-winded. that could drive the time up a little bit. go ahead, you first, paul. >> so bill clinton had a lot less exposure than president trump who again, is with regard to obstruction of justice and from these 49 questions, robert mueller still theres there might be a collusion investigation that's worth pursuing with regard to the president. it's a whole different ball game with president trump than with president clinton. >> i would hope it's a collusion or else he's not going to be successful. bill clinton huge iq and he was mouse trapped by the question about olympian ca lewinsky. robert, you talked to rudy guiliani. can you give me, does he sound like he's the lawyer in charge? >> he's the lawyer in charge but he's also a presidential confidante.
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emmett flood copping in who is a close friend of don mcgahn. much more litigation experience. different kinds you have personals on his legal team. what's important to watch that julia referenced, the president's quoting his former lawyer john dowd. why is he so important? he was the chief voice in the president's ear for months saying don't do the interview. who is the president tweeting tonight? john dowd. >> sounds like he doesn't want to do it, right? >> sounds like he's reversing course again. he got rid of dwout and wanted someone more aggressive and got giuliani. there's a pattern of getting rid of people, getting rid of ty cobb who are telling him to exercise caution and he's instead bringing in people who will agree with him. >> the question i have to ask, what's he going to feel like being hog tied by a subpoena, suppose the supreme court votes 5-4, suppose kennedy goes with the prosecution and he's hog tied forced to come into court under subpoena. and then he's treated like a
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defendant. with prosecutors closing in, trump's allies on capitol hill are threatening to impeach deputy attorney general rod rosen teen if he doesn't turn over documents related to the ongoing investigation. president trump issued this threat. a rigged system. they don't want to turn over documents to congress. what are they afraid of? why so much reacting, such an equal justice? at some point i will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the presidency and get involved. it appears to be a response to rosen. here's rosenstein. >> there have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time. and i think they should understand by now that the department of justice is not going to be extorted. we'll do what's required by the rule of law. any kind of threats that anybody makes are not going to affect the way we do our job.
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>> paul, there's always been this rear guard action on behalf of the president. every type the prosecution gets close, his toadies on capitol hill come out with nuisance demands for documents to slow down the prosecution and send them -- put them in the crossfire. what do you make of these attempts by people like meadows or the freedom caucus and toadies like nunes? they're constantly throwing out efforts. i used to work with a minority party, the democrats against reagan. you're always trying to put up what looks like a counter point. i know the politics of this. what's the legal status of these kinds of nuisance efforts by the republicans? >> chris, the president and his boys are using this intimidation tactics, these threats, these ballying tactics like president trump thinks he's back doing the shady real estate deals in queens in the 1980s. rosenstein is letting him know that's not how the it works.
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so there's no legal way that the president can fire robert -- rosenstein. that's what he means by he's going to take things in own hands. again, he's basically writing his own article of impeachment. but the bet is, it's only an of impeachment if the republican congress at this point stands up and does its constitutional responsibility and again, that's a political question. >> democratic congress some next november. let's go to a couple things. the power of his office. julia, and then to robert. firing rosenstein, pardon some people, executive privilege or otherwise just avoiding any kind of testimony. he's got -- that's what trump seems to be threatening here, a whole fuselage of tunes to crush the investigation. >> and he might not realize that by using some of these powers he's putting himself more in the way of an obstruction probe. if he tries to claim that he can dangle pardons in front of
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people like michael flynn and paul manafort. >> ivanka. >> that's interesting. we know that robert mueller is looking into the way he's using pardoning powers in the obstruction case. and then, of course, with, executive privilege, that wouldn't protect him over things that happened before the election like the trump tower meeting. he's trying to flex muscles. he wants to intimidate people. it's backfiring when you have your department or deputy attorney general saying it's extortion. someone feels they're being extorted you're not supposed to bang on their door. >> it reminds me of the woman out in nevada that time about second amendment things. he sounds like i've got there the array of weapons, don't ask me to do it. don't ask me to come back. stop the car, kids. what does he mean when he says i've got this weaponry? >> it's clear he's ready to make a move. you're a former house guy, chris. pay attention to meadows, the north carolina republican.
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i got a story out tonight. he's thinking through maybe bringing up a privilege motion. trying to force a vote in the house on rosenstein on impeachment. think about the crisis. forget about the constitution. it would be perhaps a constitutional crisis because it disrupts the mueller probe. a gop crisis. speaker ryan, other republicans have to force to a deal with an impeachment move by trump allied members. >> wow, toadie time. thank you, robert, julia and paul. trump said it was a disgrace these questions where is leaked. trouble is it's been alleged his own that your released them to the public to "the new york times." tonight, trump's anger is boiling over as the investigation gets closer to him and his family. we'll get to that, too. plus, trump's long-time doctor says yesterday was trump himself wrote that that the glowing report about his own health during the campaign saying he was -- anyway, then the doctor told a report sper sweetheart, this is watergate. the guy thinks he's humphrey bogart."
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and the self-styled party of law and order is embracing a trio of exconvicts, michael grim dprks arizona's joe arpaio and don blank beship of west virginia are running for office and blaming their problems on president obama and all three are felons. let me finish tonight with trump watch. felons for the gop. this is "hardball" where the action is. ♪ come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away. ♪ ♪ come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away. ♪
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well, some late breaking news from the "new york times" tonight. summer zervos, "apprentice" contestant accusing donald trump df sexual assault is seeking recordings from that show to prove he defamed her by calling her a liar about that. attorneys for her say subpoenas have been issued for any video and audio recordings from "the apprentice" where trump is talking about her. or talking about women in an appropriate manner. in addition, the subpoena was issued to the beverly hills hotel where she says trump
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groped her in 2007. zervos is one of the women who came forward during the 2016 campaign to accuse him of sexual misconduct. we'll be back after this. from the bottom and floss to set a good example. you fine tune the proposal, change the water jug so no one else has to, get home for dinner and feed the cat. you did a million things for your family today but speaking to pnc to help handle all your investments was a very important million and one. pnc. make today the day. your digestive system has billions of bacteria, but life can throw them off balance. try align, the #1 doctor recommended probiotic. with a unique strain that re-aligns your system. re-align yourself, with align. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown
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welcome back to "hardball." donald trump yesterday called it disgraceful that a list of robert mueller's potential questions for him was leaked to the media. 49 of them, in fact. but according to "washington post," the list was compiled by trump's own lawyer jay sekulow based on subjects provided by mueller's team. today one attorney involved in the investigation told nbc news that the release of the questions to "the new york times" was orchestrated by trump allies to convince the president to support a strategy more aggressive and narrow in focus to teach him to he ought to stay narrow on this investigation. trump fumed when he saw the questions that emerged out of the talks with the mueller team.
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the president and several advisers plan to point to the list as evidence that mueller strayed beyond his mandate and is overreach. i'm joined by lieddy przybilla and annie from politico. it seems to me the way we've tried to figure this out, this was put out, these questions came out to "the new york times" because somebody in trump word wanted trump to understand these res too wide ranging these questions and two, they want the trump folks out there, the 40 some% who is like him to say oh, i can see that this guy mueller is going too far abroad in his question. this isn't about the russian probe. this is about something like the watergate or the whitewater thing that went after clinton and found monica. they're looking for a crime. >> it did seem like the president with his tweets was part of that strategy when he put out the very legalistic tweets about how this list vi lays his article 2 powers in terms of hiring and firing
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personnel. and then he follows that up and says well, and under those circumstances i might have to take action setting him up to one, in his mind to have a stronger negotiating position in terms of narrowing the scope and two to, politically build the support to potentially refuse to sit for the interview at all. >> and say this is not what the probe was supposed to be about. i this i most of his people will say this probe's about russia or it's about nothing. >> heidi's right. the tweets were signals to the surrogates and the people who talk on his behalf signalling what to say. >> what do you think these questions help? certainly the questions suggest a very wide scope of questioning well beyond russia. >> i think that the goal of releasing these questions might have been to try and convince trump not to go in for an interview with mueller. >> hasn't he seen the questions himself? >> he pays more attention to what he sees in the media. >> you're kidding. you mean only this is so
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interesting in terms of psychobabble. in other words, the only way people around trump think they can educate him is to let the public know what they want him to know and have him see what the published reaction is. >> the best way. >> that's a well-known tactic we've seen his team do. i will point out. >> you've seen them leak stuff to get it to trump? >> absolutely. i will point out that his team also put giuliani out there to say there's no way trump is going to sit for a 12-hour interview. look at these questions. max two hours. so you see the negotiating tactic here, via trump's tweets and jew's comments to the "post." new team, new tactics. >> you agree that the purpose of this leak whoever did it on the trump side did it to try to bring the public in as allies of trump? >> i do think that's true. i would like 0 make a caveat that -- we shouldn't ascribe too
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much strategy to anything that what happens in this white house. >> strategy by one person. for months, the president has been stewing over the langeth and bread of the investigation he boiled over when lawyers raided michael cohen's office. sources say trump's anger over the cohen raids spilled into nearly every conversation in the days that followed and continues to be a sore point for the president. one confidante says trump seems to talk about did 20 times a day. other associates say he vents on the phone about the cohen matter knowing there's little he can say. >> this is the biggest indication ever since that moment that the investigation is taking on a life of its own. it's moving outside of mueller's jurisdiction. and who is cohen? he has the keys to the trump dynasty, all of the business information, the information on potential payoffs to additional
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women. of course, that is what is making. >> won't you, heidi, be a little bit scared or angry if it turns out that the person coming at you has got allies in new york that are going to launch a flanking attack on you to your flank and hit you with cohen? >> of course. that's why it makes perfect sense. >> this is like invading cam boesia if you're nixon. i got another way to get at you. annie, you've been reporting why the special counsel has not called on ivanka for an interview despite her role in the campaign and in the administration. one former federal prosecutor who reported to mueller in the past told you, i'm reading your own copy, mueller would know trying to interview ivanka would be like lighting a match to the highly combustible donald trump. >> so it's the same reason you see trump really losing it about cohen being a target. so i think that mueller's team is aware that you start to go after the family members, especially ivanka calling them in to question them, trump's
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going to see this as now you're harassing my family. he's going to. >> is ivanka trump a daughter only or is she an operative for the president, as well? >> she's an operative for the president and she's been in the room at key moments in the trump russia timeline. she was there when he made the decision to fire comey, she was on the plane home helping with the don junior statement. >> isn't the smart move to interview trump first, then after you got all you can out of him, you go to her and donald junior? they're going to rat out everything and tell him everything that's coming. > hope hicks has been interviewed. >> they've got their own lawyers. >> her husband jared may be a subject. >> jared has been interviewed. >> the family people unlike all the others being interviewed interrogated cannot separate themselves from trump, can they? >> like either they're saving the family for last because it's the most delicate for a number of reasons or there's no need to call in ivanka.
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every time she's been in the room, there's ten other people in the room and it's not worth the risk. i don't know what the reason is. >> it's not worth the risk because. >> of setting off trump the perception they're harassing it his family. >> i think they're they to her. heidi and annie. he uses his family for all kinds of political stuff and mayhem. up next, trump's long time doctor admitted it was trump who wrote his own glowing health report. wouldn't you like to go to your doctor and have him say how well you are? now he's talking about watergate. he uses the term sweetheart. this is "hardball" where the action is. people said it just made a mess until exxonmobil scientists put it to the test. they thought someday it could become fuel and power our cars wouldn't that be cool? and that's why exxonmobil scientists think it's not small at all.
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when you're running for president, i think you have an obligation to be healthy. i just don't think you can do the work if you're not healthy. i don't think you can represent the country properly if you're not a healthy person. >> welcome back to "hardball." december 2015, president trump tweeted "as a presidential candidate, i have instructed my long-time doctor to issue within two weeks a full medical report. it will show perfection." later that month, trump's campaign released a statement from his doctor harold borenstein that concluded "elected mr. trump i can state unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." in a recent interview, dr. borenstein revealed that trump actually wrote that letter
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himself. >> that letter that showed up in the times" about his health he wrote himself. you know that. >> yeah. >> he wrote it himself. and me from where i come from, the end of it was just black humor. it wasn't meant to be a serious comment. >> well, the exaggerated tone continued in trump's presidency when ronny jackson, the white house doctor at the time, couldn't stop praising trump's health. let's watch. >> the president's overall health is excellent. his cardiac health is excellent. incredibly good genes. the way god made him. there's no question he is -- he is in the excellent range. the president's health is excellent. his overall health is excellent. >> i'm joined by dana milbank, a columnist with "the washington post." i don't know what this is about. you go to the doctor to tell you how healthy you are and you write the prescription, perfect.
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>> i always go to the doctor and you know, you've got to lose a little. >> i'm afraid of my doctor. >> lose a few pounds. i want one of these doctors. they could start a new practice of affirmation. he tells you that you're doing extremely well. i'm watching this and watching these clips. i'm less worried about trump than his doctors. >> when you see this doctor, think of all the doctors presented on television in these ads that are clean shaven, they look very upright in person. this character. he looks more like a guy who writes novels down by the wharf somewhere. according to cbs news, dr. borstein declined an interview with one of their producers and signed off, sweat hart, this is watergate, good-bye. he's a humphrey bogart character. >> today a reporter called are him from the "associated press"? he said you're a reporter. go report on how your toilet bowl works. >> repeat that again. >> go report on how your toilet
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bowl works he shade to the "associated press" today. he is not your typical doctor. we knew that when we got the report saying he would be the most healthy president in history. he said that he did all these tests on trump and they were all positive. now what, doctor says all the tests are positive for heart disease, positive for cancer? i mean, no doctor would actually do that which actually leads credence. >> positive is bad, isn't it? >> if you're testing for heart disease or ven fleeral disease. no doctor would do that which led to the belief in the first place it wasn't written by him. >> do no harm. there's another one that says downtown talk about your patient. he goes out and says he came to me for hair restore, not rogaine but the other one. why would he put that in that impeaches him as a doctor that can keep a secret. >> why would he come out now in saying this was dictated to me. i put this thing under my signature that wasn't mine. now he's violated another ethic.
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>> circle of associates, michael cohen who i've been told was not really a lawyer but a fixer that trump would go to for secretive things, fixed like these women charges against him which had merit has to deal with. what does it tell you he surrounds himself with these characters. >> you wonder when roy cohn is going to show up. >> he did earlier in the show. i do see the michael cohen, borenstein, but think of sean spicer and various roles you have people almost like a ventriloquist and saying the words you know they were told to say by the president. why do they do it? one, the president requires. >> let's throw in nunes, chairman of the intelligence committee. these toadies. is that the only basis of a relationship with trump. >> try to think of somebody who has had a relationship with donald trump other than stormy daniel who's has come out the better for this. they all get chewed up along the
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line. >> up next, how did the republican party, the party that likes to call itself the law and order party find itself now three convicted felons running for office on the 201 ballot listed as republicans. they've all served time as felons. and they're all being put forth to the american people to represent them in the united states congress. you're watching "hardball." dear foremothers, your society was led by a woman, who governed thousands... commanded armies... yielded to no one. when i found you in my dna, i learned where my strength comes from. my name is courtney mckinney, and this is my ancestrydna story. now with 5 times more detail than other dna tests. order your kit at
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when i take the oath of office next year, i will restore law and order to our country. in this race for the white house, i am the law and order candidate. >> you know he does this jesus kind of thing. the hand in the air just like this. he always does the same thing when he's preaching. the same donald trump who said he would be the law and order
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president finds himself under the glare of mueller's investigation. trump has created a new reality for republicans in the era of president trump. even time spent in prison now can be turned into a positive talking point. demonstrating a candidate's battle scars in a broader fight against what he perceives as liberal corruption. take west virginia's senate candidate don blankenship caused himself a political prisoner after spending a year behind bars for violating mine safety laws which led to the deaths of 29 miners. >> they put me in jail because i did not stop the coal miners from telling each other that the inspectors had arrived. that's not a law that's on the books. that's the law that the obama prosecutors made up in preparation for the trial. it was clear from the beginning to the end that it was a fake prosecution. >> former new york congressman michael grimm was convicted of felony tax fraud and running for his old seat from staten island. he told "the post" his situation was "almost identical to what
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the president's been going through." it's not an accident he said that under the obama administration, the justice department was used politically. out there in arizona, former maricopa county sheriff joe arpaio was convicted of failing to obey a court order tore stop targeting illegal immigrants. he was parred.ed by trump last year and now running for the senate. he compared his prosecution to claims that the obama administration improperly saw the warns to monitor officials connect to the trump campaign. mike pence had unexpected words about arpaio last night coming up with the "hardball" roundtable. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job
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most pills only block one. flonase. welcome back to "hardball." sheriff joe arpaio's senate campaign in arizona got a boost from an unexpected source vice president mike pence. arpaio was convicted of violating court orders to stop profiling illegal immigrants and pardoned by president trump last year. here's what vice president pence had to say about hip last night. >> and i just found out when i was walking through the door that we were going to be joined today by another favorite. a great friend of this president. a tireless champion of strong boarders and the rule of law, spent a lifetime in law enforcement. sheriff joe arpaio. i'm honored to have you here.
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>> wow. well, let's bring in the roundtable. john brabender, cornell, and kimberly atkins. what do you think, john? >> first of all. >> lenny bruce said hire the what do you call them the ex-cons like jesus did. that's what he used to say. >> here's what we found. there are certain things that matter to voters and don't. bill clinton has sex with an intern, people ended up not caring. barack obama colludes with the russians on missile defense, nobody seemed to care. hillary clinton gets rid of 40,000 e-mails people cares. >> before you skate past that one, colludes with the russians. >> whether he he was caught telling them that he would be more easy going on missile defense, once the election was over. why isn't that collusion? >> that's in a different context. >> this is about republican and democratic -- it's wrong. it's about politicians.
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>> i don't know where to start with that so i won't. here's the fundamental problem. the republican brand. >> are you for hiring ex-cons? i want a philosophical answer. >> long-term what's problematic is the republican brand has been one that's been the values first. and for that middle swathe of america that democrats have had a hard time winning it was because of values. long-term when you have pence and the republican brand embracing this, in middle moderate swathe of america, it's going to hurt them long-term. when you see them losing their values advantage, it's going to hurt them in the middle swathe of america. that's the serious problem with what's going on with the republican party right now. >> that means your party doesn't have values first. i don't understand. shouldn't every party have values first? >> it's about who is the values brand and for the middle swathe of america, i'm not going down the rabbit hole with you. for the middle swathe of
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america, they have seen republicans more in line with their values. as they see them not in line with their values, districts are swing the other way by 20 points. >> kimberly, running ex-cons for congress. does it make sense? >> it's the embrace of trumpism. we're seeing mike pence standing up and saying to somebody who had to be pardoned because he refused to stop racially profiling people against the law. these are the laws that are not the rule of law. these aren't the laws we need to embrace. it's the laws they want to enforce, this tough crack down on illegal immigration. there are a lot of people who embrace that and like that. they don't care that he broke the law that, don blankenship was convicted for his role in the deaths of these miners. he wants to stop illegal immigration. this is a trumpism. i don't know how long it will last and whether the republicans can survive that if they're
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walking away from values that way. >> that's why i said it's not about truth. they go to trump for attitude. as long as he's anti-establishment and illegal immigrant and got his point of view, they're with him. >> as long as he's a tribal warrior they are with him. as long as he continues to be the tribal champion, there's no wrong he can do. >> here's where candidates make a mistaking. > they still have to blame obama liking this guy. >> you keep dragging obama back onto the stage. >> people didn't seem to care when he did that. i'm agreeing with you. the mistake some republican candidates are making is that they think they are being trump-like if they say something outrageous. we're seeing that in west virginia with the senate candidate there. >> this guy grimm, staten island tough guy. irish guy. pugnacious. then he says to this reporter you asked him the wrong question, they're standing at the balcony, he's saying i'm going to break you like a boy, whatever that means.
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how does that sell with the public? maybe it works. i don't know. >> i think with certain elements of their base, it's fine. but when you look at the revolt going on among especially college educated women and suburban women, it's a problem. again, it is an absolute problem. >> hillary clinton was accused of saying we'll put the miners out of business. this guy had a hand in the deaths of 29 miners. it would seem that would not be a selling point for either party. >> he's had a long history of not embracing the rule of law. >> he's the bad guy in hillary's book. >> aside from the conviction, there was a case that went to the supreme court because he tried to bankroll the campaign of a judge that ruled against his company. there's been a long history of being the opposite of the rule of law. the packet that now that's what they're standing for,ing. > he was bankrolling the judge against him. >> west virginia has elected judge. a judge ruled against his coal company in a key case.
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he bankrolled the candidacy of the opponent of that judge. >> i got you. >> so he -- how is that the rule of law? >> another thing, all this has become public. he's gone from first in the polls to last in the polls. >> blankenship. >> i wouldn't vote for him. >> let's not make it sound like all the republicans are unifying behind him. >> have you ever been in a coal mine? you want someone on your side down there. up next. >> he's the one calling himself trumpyer than trump. >> we call it yesterday -- can we read this again. i read this too soon. go back over that? can we go back over that. let's talk about don blankenship. we'll be right back. that's it? yeah. that's it? everybody two seconds! "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program,
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and i heard that my cousin's so, wife's sister's husband was a lawyer, so i called him. but he never called me back! if your cousin's wife's sister's husband isn't a lawyer, call legalzoom and we'll connect you with an attorney. legalzoom. where life meets legal. we're back with the "hardball" roundtable. last week don blankenship suggested is senate majority leader mitch mcconnell could have conflicts of interest with china because of his
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father-in-law. last night's republican primary debate, he tried to defend the term he used to describe the father of mcconnell's wife who is transportation secretary eclain chau. >> this idea that calling somebody a china person, i'm an american person. i don't see this insinuation by the president that there's something racist about saying a china person. some people are korean persons and some of them are african persons. it's not any slander there. >> of course, china person is an attempt to refine chinamen or china woman i suppose, a term that went out of acceptance backing about 60 years ago at least. john, how is it going to sell in west virginia, that term. >> it's perfectly fine. no, it's not. it's not. it's ridiculous. >> a hot potato. >> it was inappropriate. i think he should apologize. >> do you think he's ignorant or prejudiced or play together audience. >> pes west virginia has very, very smart people 0 who will be
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very sensitive to feeling like they're being used and i think it will backfire. >> used by him. >> it's degrading. i think it's going to hurt him in the polls sflee said he wants to be trumpyer than trump. he sees a president who calls can elizabeth warren poke cag hon tas and there's equivalence those who fight against white supremacy and those who is embrace it. >> as the colored guy, i've got nothing on this. >> say you're kidding, will you? >> i'm kidding. > some people don't understand sarcasm. they don't understand the reference. you know, we have to be careful. >> it's not okay, america. just to be clear, it's not okay. >> irony is lost on television. i've learned 100 years ago. irony is nothing. thank everybody from john brabender, cornell, cornell belcher, see, this is what i'm not used to, extra time. just so we learn the correct
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terminology, chinese american? can we work on that one. >> that's not bad. >> how about his name? >> let me ask you, just the fact he's trying to make it an issue in my mind is inappropriate. >> he's a very wealthy fellow. a wonderful person, mitch mcconnell's wife. i she she ep greated here very young. >> incredibly talented and good at what she does. >> >> her father is a very wealthy guy in taiwan. >> i think it's dog whistle pol things. he's being clever about it. >> that's why he's fallen to last place. give a lot of respect to the west virginia vote are who's see through this. >> they'll reject account term china person. >> thank you, john angkor nel belcher and kimberly atkinss. >> let me finish tonight with trump watch. you're watching "hardball."
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trump watch wednesday may 2nd, 201. a new poll shows that the public's appetite for the mueller probe is dropping. a healthy majority wants it to continue. but as i said, it's dropping. a lot of this is easily explainable like anyone following a crime story or a jury trial. they are hungry for a verdict. i am. i want to know. and believe we all have a right to know at some point whether
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robert muler with all the legal power he's recruited to this mission, with all his powers as a prosecutor has a case that candidate donald trump colluded with the russians in getting himself elected president. my passion was stirred by watching an the final episode of "hope land" this season. it is searing to see the russians trying to undermine our democracy and more searing to see an american politician helping them on that show. and then trying to cover it up for them. if trump did this, if he and his operatives opened themselves as helping hands or willing recipients of moscow's lep he doesn't deserve to be president. if his people knew he was doing it enough of them would not have the vote ford him to ensure that he wasn't. i have enough faith in my fellow americans' patriotism whatever their politics to believe that. so let's push on. there's no shot clock for getting the truth on this case. we need to know the truth. did he or didn't he? let's let the cards fall where they do. if the trump presidency is a
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house of cards, let it fall, too. we can argue about the points of law and business misdeeds trump might be guilty. i want to know what the majority of americans have a right to know is whether he cheated to win by having the russians stack the deck even at the margins. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on all in -- >> clinton, oh, clinton. the impeachment, the lying. >> president trump hires bill clinton's impeachment lawyer. >> impeachment for lying. remember that? >> donald trump hires a new wartime con sig gee aere as he once again threaten his own justice department. >> what's going on is a disgrace. >> the president's big step towards a crisis. then a "new york times" bombshell. >> it's a great honor to be with president poroshenko of the ukraine. >> did ukraine stop