tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 17, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
cohen questions, apparently they don't have an answer to stick to yet. you've. watching "the beat" with ari melber. i'll see you back here at 6:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. >> the follow the rubles. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump marked the industry of special counsel robert mueller's appointment with a tweet this morning proclaiming his innocence. congratulations, america, we are now into the second year of the greatest witch hunt in american history. there is still no collusion and no obstruction. he went on to claim that despite the disgusting illegal and unwarranted witch hunt, we have had the most successful first 17-month administration in u.s. history.
by far. sorry to the fake news media and haters but that's the way it is. despite his repeated assertion there's nothing new, new reporting continues to raise questions about whether trump and his allies collaborated with russia during the election. we're now discovering how donald trump and his associates were pursuing a major business deal in russia while he was running for president. nefrds trump was chasing russian rubles at the same time he was seeking american votes. today buzzfeed news revealed michael cohen's effort to develop a trump tower over in moscow during the election year went on far longer than he publicly acknowledged extending into the spring of 2016. most damning is that "even before the appointment of mueller as special counsel in may of 2017, fbi agents investigating russia's interference in the election learned that michael cohen was in frequent contact with foreign individuals about trump moscow and that some of these
individuals had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meddling. it's all connected according to two fbi agents." in may of 2016, michael cohen along with his partner felix sater were planning to send trump to moscow. "they discussed when in the presidential campaign trump should take the extraordinary step of flying to a country at odds with the united states in order to negotiate a major business deal." sater told buzzfeed cohen was also prepared to make a separate trip to moscow and that planning for that trip continued through june of 2016 when cohen suddenly demurred. nbc news has not verified buzzfeed's reporting yet. joining me is jill wine-banks, eugene robinson, columnist for the west and msnbc political analyst and democratic congressman mike quigley of illinois. congressman, i want to start
with you the elected official. here more evidence thanks to buzzfeed there was ongoing business dealing by trump's associates, by his close fixer lawyer michael cohen and felix sater and his associate all on behalf of trump. in other words, he was literally chasing money over in moscow at the same time he was chasing votes here at home. what's your thought about that? >> yeah, he testified before our committee last october in light of the information you have talked about in other documents we've received, he really should come back. wait, they shut the investigation down. obviously, a great concern is the letter of intent signed during the campaign by candidate trump about trump tower moscow. information that mr. cohen perhaps other than the president alone can give us more information on. >> let me go to jill on this. it seems to me there's lots to pursue here and the idea that this probe by robert mueller should end now because of some
artificial anniversary celebration is insane. we are only learning now these stories about the way in which trump's people were out there trying to make a buck over in moscow using his prestige as a candidate. we're going to develop that tonight. apparently they were using the fact that he was now a big american political big shot as well as a tycoon as a way of greasing the skids for his investments in moscow. >> it's an unusual situation where you have a candidate for president of the united states as concerned if not more concerned about his personal wealth and his financial dealings during the time of the campaign and to be that involved in trying to do business with russia at the same time as a lot of secret meetings are happening with russia and where the financing was going to come from sanctioned banks. and they're having discussions whether sanctions should be lifted. it really is a very smelly
situation. it clearly needs makeup more investigation, and a year is not a lot of time for the kind of sophisticated crimes that are involved here. it needs more time. mueller must continue. snifr i get the sense more often that trump has lipped knowledge but a lot in certain areas. he knows a lot about real estate obviously and that kind of money making. he has people out there on his behalf who don't have any grasp of what horrors are waiting for them in russia where they shoot you, they ignore contracts with gunpoint over there. the idea he had people over there saying let's does business for trump tower and those people he's doing business with, this is michael cohen and felix sater are dealing with people who are at the same time trying to screw with our democracy. >> yeah. two things about what i assume to be donald trump's state of mind during this. first, i assume that he looked at -- had been looking at russia
for a number of years since miss universe and even before as a big pot of money, a big pot of money that he ought to get his piece of and so he was going to do trump tower and he had oligarchs and they absent money like water. that's one mind-set. the other mind-set is for much of the campaign until fairly late, part of his thinking, part of his mentality had to be that this was really just the greatest marketing campaign in history, right? because the odds were long that he was actually going to get across the finish line and win. >> we all thought that. >> until he did at some point probably convince himself that yes, i can do this. but meanwhile, part of him had to be thinking this is just raising my profile and so why shouldn't he pursue this deal in moscow if he was going to get his chunk of that money. >> mr. quickly, congressman, at the local level we know some people run for office knowing they're probably going to lose
but they've got a law license and want to make money and have the shingle out. it doesn't hurt them when you lose a race for the house. is it possible we have a guy running for president whose secondary purpose is to be elected president, the long shot part but the short deal is, of course, to make a stab at a big business investment that will pay off down the road in moscow? the problem is, he's got all this going on and saying at the same time don't look at there. close down the shop. what do you think the chances are that mueller would ever shut down his shop? is he going to go the distance? >> yeah, i don't think mule ter stops by himself. speaker ryan said today that the mueller investigation should be allowed to continue on its own. speaker ryan can make sure that happens. he needs to put a bill on the floor to protect the mueller investigation. mueller won't stop this until he's done. >> well, buzzfeed is reporting also shows that nexus now between trump's political
campaign and his business interests. during a meeting with an intermediate to the powerful russians, felix sater one of his associates used trump's public praise of putin to entice wealthy russians to invest in the moscow development. " trump had recently praised putin on tv so sater e-mailed michael cohen saying get me a clip. get me the clip of trump raising putin see they can help grease the skids for this business deal." during the campaign trump's praise of putin confounded many ob vers. look at many of the things he said that were useful to business. >> i think i would get along very well with putin. i think so. >> i would get along with putin. i've dealt with russia. putin has been a strong leader for russia, a lot stronger than our leader. >> putin said trump is a genius. putin called me a genius. >> when people like me, i like them. even putin.
>> i'm going to disavow a statement when somebody calls me a genius? i'm not disavowing anything. >> he does have a 82% approval rating. > does he believe this malarky? jill, i mean the idea that he believes russian polling, there aren't many options on the ballot over there. we know what the story is. that's not exactly democratic the way we know it. what do you make of this guy who seems to be constantly entwining, his people doing weather wants them to do, selling him as a business dealmaker because he's running for president? selling him as a russian business associate because he's saying nice things about the guy over there who has to approve all the deals over there? is this all legal to do what he was doing. >> well, it may be legal even if it is immoral. but i also think that he was thinking that this would increase the licensing fees. they were having trouble getting developers willing to pay just to put trump's name on a building. and the thought was, and it was
expressed in the e-mails between cohen and sater that when he became this very public figure in america, that they would be willing to pay more to put his name on a building. so he was clearly using his campaign to move forward and he was using it. now, at what point if any the campaign decided that they could use the relationships with russia to do something other than a real estate deal and top cooperate with russia for possible help in winning the election, that seems to be the question that mueller is focusing on now. >> well, as we know trump was aware of the negotiations for a trump tower in moscow because he signed a letter of intent with a developer that sater brought to the table in october of 2015. however, just a month later trump professed not to know sater even though sater was coordinating the deal. as trump said to the "associated press," felix sater, boy, i have
to even think about it. i'm not that familiar with him. i'm sorry, jill, what do you mean i'm not that familiar with it? that's when you admit when you say you know somebody. >> you're right. you're right. and, of course, he may be very sorry he said that because it apparently really angered sater who is now seems to be cooperating with mueller. and he may be doing that because exactly of that point was that trump said i don't even know him. so he may have made a mistake in underestimating what the connections that sater had were and he seems to have had some pretty high up connections. so this may not have been a good thing for him. >> let me go back to my rant, if you will, because i have a few rants once dick cheney got us into a bad war. one of rant is the russiaphilia. we have known politics all our lives, covered them, never realized they had close russian friends or associates because
they didn't have any. this guy they come out of the woodwork. all of a sudden, felix sater is in the news tonight along with papadopoulos and all these other guys, rick gates and manafort and roger stone and the endless list of these kato kaelin characters. and their only role seems to be to tie this guy to russia. >> look, i know people who were correspondents in moscow who developed a sort of deep relationship with the culture and the people of russia and the history as opposed to the government and all that which has been oppressive since there was russia, but that's not what this is about. this is about the money i think. i really do and about the, know. >> deep pockets. >> soviet union ended, this new kleptocracy, these oligarchs managed to divvy up this
incredible bounty which they dole out. it's like a big candy -- he wanted a big handful of jelly beans. >> in his tweets this morning, president trump cited an allegation that appeared in the national review magazine tweeting wow, word seems to be coming out that the obama fbi spied on the trump campaign with an embedded informant. if so, this is bigger than watergate. the president appears to be referencing a new detail about the investigation that appeared last night in the "new york times." they report that at the start of the fbi's investigation of trump's campaign, at least one government informant met several times with mr. carter page and olympian george step papadopoulos. that's become a contentious whether they were trying to entrap campaign officials. rudy guiliani making clear the trump legal team would fight the investigation by destroying its credibility, not on the merits
of the evidence itself. here we go. >> first of all, we're going to have to look into as a result of the times" article, thank you "new york times," they usually don't help us. in this case we'll have to look into whether we can challenge the legitimacy of the entire investigation. >> in other words, you can't have an investigation without investigators. i don't understand what they're charging here, that the fbi is trying to find out the russian kicks and they're being called spies, that's the nice word giuliani is using. your thoughts. >> this is an investigation by investigators. they are not spies. if you are under investigation, the fbi sends out people to interview people about you. to find out what you've been doing. that's a legitimate investigation. and we know that there was evidence against both page and papadopoulos. the australians are quite proud of the fact that their foreign official notified american officials that are papadopoulos had said i've been meeting with the russians and they have dirt
on hillary. and so they had a legitimate reason to investigate these people for possible collusion with the russians. and that's what they were doing. >> you know, the oddity of using the word spies, everybody who's ever worked in the peace corps or in the united states government has had a full investigation by the fbi. it's part of the rite of passage if you will. we never thought of those people that went around to talk to our parents and neighbors as spies. they were government officials checking us out to see if we're okay for these jobs. congressman, thank you very much. thank you jill wine-banks and eugene robinson. coming up, what's rudy guiliani's came game right now? he says trump would love to testify. of course, he wouldn't. rudy is defending the trump campaign saying if they got dirt on the russians, if they did, they would have used it. they were doing it. think how many times trump said wikileaks in the campaign trail. he's all about using it. besides stormy daniels an donald
trump may have paid hush money to at least two additional women in such circumstances. michael avenatti dropped that bombshell today. and trump seems to want to fight the russian investigation in the court of public opinion. with his latest over the top tweet how well he's doing comes as a top member of the cabinet is taking a swipe at his ex-boss, recent ex-boss and calling out the country's crisis of ethics and integrity. that's tillerson talking. let me finish tonight with trump watch. he will not like tonight. this is "hardball" where the action is. it's what this country is made of. but right now, our bond is fraying. how do we get back to "us"? the y fills the gaps. and bridges our divides. donate to your local y today. because where there's a y, there's an us.
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welcome back to "hardball." rudy guiliani copied his media blitz over the last 24 hours with a revamped defense of his client donald trump. he said special counsel robert mueller acknowledged he didn't have the power to indict a sitting president. that's what he said. giuliani also argued collecting opposition research even from russia isn't illegal. today giuliani told fox news that president trump would welcome the opportunity to sit down with mueller's team. >> you got to understand the president wants to testify. he wants to give his side of the case. if they had an open mind, we would be inclined to let our client do what he wants to do. >> maybe. is he told nbc news the special counsel's office is now "engaging us on several points where we could reach an
agreement." he's playing it both ways. he said details were confidential but added the last day or so, it's been more productive. this is like negotiating with north korea. i'm joined by kimberly atkins and sam stein from "the daily beast," both contributors. so i have a theory. why is giuliani so mouthy? why is he all over the press like the full ginsberg? is he starts at dawn. he's still talking late at night with the hannity. why is he drawing attention to the stormy daniels part of this thing, first of all? because that's what he's doing. >> i think he's trying to act as president trump's mouthpiece on this issue both to keep the president calm and ostensibly was to let the president focus on north korea and other important things. he's also tweeting and talking about this, too. >> from dawn. >> exactly. from his twitter account. he's trying to be the lead discrediter of the mueller
investigation. the signal to republicans they're looking past this, they're ready to discredit any sort of report that comes out. >> why now? to see what's coming? >> i think so. they want to get ahead of whatever is coming and do their messaging. on the indictment, we only know giuliani's side because mueller is not talking. take that with a little grain of salt. >> he's not a perfect messenger. >> he's not acting as a lawyer being that he's giving legal advice that isn't sound. >> i don't think he's playing the role of lawyer. >> he's not. >> rudy was brought on to this team for a pr purpose. trump didn't like his old legal team was hitting back on tv. rudy was brought on to do that. one of the things he's doing is to get out in front of the news of the personal financial disclosure which would reveal the payments. what he's doing with mueller is trying to soften the public perception of the trump status which is we are. >> they expect the worst. they expect this iceberg of information that mueller's been
able to be accumulate could be really damaging even with people pro trump, what are any doing now to prepare for that? >> they're trying to message around the idea whether or not he will do an interview.rudy goes out and says we're open to the possibility. we just want them to narrow it a little bit. what he's really saying is we're trying to game the public. >> when everybody's talking about process, here's my thought. i think this is an old game in politics, change the question. if the question is guilt or not, they're probably going to lose. mueller is going to get something on all the associates. he's got 19 indictments, getting manafort, he's got mike cohen over there cutting deals. there's so much stuff, a lot of obstruction of justice. they don't want the country to be a jury. they want to the ask the country, whose side are you on? whose side are you on? giuliani is a pal. i think it's new york, new york city or boston politics. which side are you on. >> are you with the labor unions
or the business? are you the democrats, the republicans, left or white, black or white. fight it. >> he's been pegging this as an attack on america. it's bad for america. he sees painting this as anti-patriotic versus patriotic the president trying to do his job. i think you're right. >> that's what they did with nixon. >> i would take it one step further. they have moved the goal post significantly. first it was we didn't talk to the russians. then the campaign might have. then we didn't include with the russians collusion is when you do x, y, and z. >> he said i don't care what mueller thinks, he sucks. >> had the news of the trump tower meeting with russian officials dropped tomorrow or a week from now, it would be treated as oughter and complete bombshell. it would be treated as proof of collision, a game over smoking gun but it dropped many months ago. we have grown numb to it in a way that we don't recognize the
significance of the moment which was a hostile government offered dirt on a political opponent. >> isn't that collusion? in a spat fox news interview, giuliani was asked about the trump tower meeting between donald trump jr. and the russians promising dirt on hoda kotb. giuliani argued that there's nothing wrong with taking opposition research even from russia. here's giuliani. let's listen. >> when i ran against them, they were looking for dirt on me every day. i mean, that's what you do. maybe you shouldn't but do you it. nothing illegal about that. and even if it comes from a russian or a german or an american, it doesn't matter. and they never used it is the main thing. never used it. they rejected it. if there was collusion with the russians, they would have used it. >> kimberly, none of us are lawyers here i don't think. >> i am a lawyer. he said about four different things that were wrong. >> the first one i heard was you can take stuff from foreign
governments. you're not allowed to make a campaign contribution from floer country. >> to help you in an election. that's wrong point number one saying that we took it but didn't use it is also not a defense to any sort of crime. nothing that he is saying is legally correct. >> i think he made an actual. >> what are the other ones? >> i have to -- there were so many of them rapid fire. >> he made a damaging admission in that clip which was he defined what collusion is for trump legal team. you have to use the material you were given. if you were to go out and find roger stone used material from say wikileaks that would meet now the trump legal team's definition of collusion. there would be nothing giuliani or emmet flood or donald trump could say to take back the definition. at the end of the day, it is the definition by federal prosecutors that counts. it's not giuliani's definition or anybody else's.
it's whether they find something that ties up trump or anybody on his team. >> do you get a sense rudy guiliani is not up to date on the law? >> i haven't picked that one yet. he seems to be winging it yet i think he's beak admitted he's leaving a lot of technicalities to the other people on the team and he's throwing punches. that's fine. fair enough. but you know, if that's part of your legal strategy, it says a lot about your legal strategy. >> i think part of the strategy is giving a message the president wants him to give. >> he says it as if it's the truth. he says things which are arguable as if that's the bottom line. >> that's what most good politicians do. >> thank you, kimberly. i know your professional advantage over all of us right here. thank you. so many journalists have law degrees. explain? >> i just, you know, i left the law because i didn't like dealing with trial lawyers. here i am dealing with trial
lawyers. >> thank you and sam stein. up next, michael and notty, the lawyer for stormy daniels dropped another bombshell this morning. he says two other women may have been paid off in order to keep quiet about their affairs with donald trump. this is and notty talking. he's been pretty sharp on this stuff. this is "hardball" where the action is.
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thorn in donald trump's side since he took on the stormy daniels case in march. he sued trump and michael cohen for defamation. he made public a summary of cohen's confidential banking records and he helped expose news that is michael cohen solicited a million dollars from the government of qatar. today he made an explosive new allegation telling us he's nearly done confirming the accounts of twos women who say they had relations with donald trump and were paid to keep quiet. let's watch him. >> in past interviews you've told us other women have come forward. you said you were vetting them. are they fully vetted? is there any more to share. >> they're not fully vetted but two i think are on solid ground. as the evidence rolls out over the coming months, disclosures will be made that my client was not alone as it relates to these payments that michael cohen was not a 24-hour seven day a week fixer for the sole purpose of taking care of stormy daniels. >> two women who allege that they have agreements with michael cohen or donald trump? >> correct.
>> and women who claim to have had affairs or sex with donald trump? >> correct. >> and these women, are they part of a larger payment? >> i'm sorry. >> did threw have larger payments paid to them larger than $130,000. >> yes. >> lots of information there thanks to mika. this comes a day after president trump acknowledged reimbursing cohen for the hush payment to stormy daniels. it was part of the a financial disclosure document he had to fill out. i'm joined by jonathan allen digital report, nbc news. this story is like a fire hydrant. the consequences of letting the russians mess with our democracy and have it known wordwide we had a problem because of that, and maybe we got a different result is not good for our history. this is a messy sexual related scandal not unfamiliar to us in politics who cover it. but it now seems to be growing in numbers at least.
what is the significance of the fact that maybe avenatti's got something? he has this whole portfolio of women who apparently will have the ability to claim that they in fact have the same situations that faced his client stormy daniels? >> that's the right question, chris, is what is the significance here. you know, i don't think anybody would be surprised to find out that donald trump had affairs. we know about his past marital history before he ran for president. obviously, a lot of allegations of that. i think he's probably from a political standpoint in that dead girl or live boy territory that edward's talked about. he said the former governor of louisiana said he couldn't lose unless he was talk with a dead girl or live boy. for trump having had multiple affairs isn't going to change the calculus with his base. what we are seeing with michael avenatti is more of the story of president trump and his associates unraveling and what we're seeing from what he's produced and there may be more
attached to these women he says he's betting and may come out soon. what we're finding out is a lot about michael cohen. we're not the only ones finding out. certainly robert mueller is finding out about cohen. he appears to be not only a fixer in the department of paying off women so they wouldn't tell their stories but also somebody who was involved in donald trump's business dealings around the world. so those bank records, the things that michael avenatti put out there already, the threads that are being followed by robert mueller are things that i think you know do affect the american public and could vin an effect on president trump's standing both politically and legally. >> let me try this by you, john. suppose michael cohen's job was to tidy things up before the election and to go around to whatever situations were still out there they knew about and had fixed at the time and or knew about and he said any one of these parties may have a complaint to make. he may be looking for the
fortune cookie to make a demand or did make a demand. there could have been other people in the same time as stormy daniels. in other words, could be seen the payments to them as campaign contributions. or campaign payments because they were all made to keep people quiet on the very eve of a presidential election. what then? >> he >> that's the 62 million vote question or 635 million vote question. i mean, yes. what you're getting at. >> the string of women had come out right before an election and said we all had affairs and we were all paid off or they tried to pay us off, i think that would have cost him 30,000 or 40,000 votes in pennsylvania, the more conservative areas of the state, the middle part. you know these areas. they're culturally conservative. they have heard of frank sinatra and people in hollywood who behave like that but they don't know people like trump who have all these marriages and all these affairs according to
avenatti now. >> certainly during the campaign, the "access hollywood"" tape was him boasting of sexually assaulting women. it wasn't an action you would have hush payments paid out. the big question on campaign finance and look, what donald trump revealed yesterday in a financial disclosure form is important. he had said it before publicly. it's a platter of record. he reimbursed michael cohen for the payments that michael cohen was making on his behalf which suggests there was a debt to michael cohen and if a prosecutor can tie that to the, as you say, can tie that to a desire to help him in the election, you're talking about an inkind contribution that would have had to be reported to the federal election commission. by the way, the commission is paralyzed and doesn't do anything. however, federal prosecutors could go after people involved in a federal election crime. >> that's an amazing story and keeps developing . we finally have the president of
the united states admitting he made this payment because he had to fill out the form like other elected officials. thank you, jonathan allen for that analysis. up next, president trump claims his administration has had the most successful start in history despite the russian investigation. but a former member of trump's cabinet doesn't seem to agree and warning about a crisis in the current government. he's doing it out loud. you're watching "hardball." it took guts to start my business. but as it grew bigger and bigger, it took a whole lot more. that's why i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. everything. and that 2% cash back adds up to thousands of dollars each year... so i can keep growing my business in big leaps! what's in your wallet? handcrafted layers of clean food you can give your kids.
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i sat in the senate republican lunch with the president two days ago, and you heard senator after senator tell this president he is the most successful president in their lifetimes in 16 months of tax cuts and regulatory reductions and getting to close to making -- making conversations if not deals with flk and south korea. >> welcome back. that was kellyanne conway saying that senate republicans have told trump he's the most
successful president in their lifetimes. today trump took it a step further. the president tweets that despite the disgusting and unwarranted witch hunt, we have had the most successful administrations in u.s. history by far! sore to the fake news media and haters but that's the way it is. trump is comparing himself top president lose made monumental achievements. true man ended world war ii, lbj passed the civil rights bill. ip trump's achievements have been his judicial nominations and the tax cut bill. not everyone who worked for him is on the same page. that's up next with the "hardball" roundtable.
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welcome back to "hardball." a former secretary of state rex tillerson made some unpected comments about washington in his commencement speech at vmi, virginia military institute just yesterday. let's watch some of there. . >> as i reflect upon the state of our american democracy, i on a growing crisis in ethics and integrity an essential tenet of a free society, a free people is access to the truth. if our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as american citizens are on a
pathway to relinquishing our freedom. >> tonight's "hardball" roundtable, and a carney from politi politico, cornell belcher and political analyst john brabender a republican strategist. what do you make of cabinet secretaries that only speak the truth after they're out the door. >> what we're seeing from a lot of republican leaders. like the jeff flake syndrome. when there's nothing to lose anymore, they speak truth to power. with tillerson it's quite rich to hear this from him now when he was the least accessible secretary of state ever, alienated the press corps that didn't travel with him because he wouldn't let them. >> he let one reporter, erin mcpike, whatever it was. he didn't let the main reporters go around with him ever. >> do you think there's a sense that like for rex, he didn't speak up or say anything because he wanted to be the adult in the room. we talked about early on we'll have some adults in the room with trump and rex was one of
those. he didn't want to alienate the president early on because he thought he could keep things under control. >> if he pandered to him. >> everybody keeps reporting. > what if that worked. >> why is everybody reporting he must have been talking about trump. he was talking about washington and he said leaders plural. i think that's reasonable. >> trump didn't take this personally. >> i think it was towards washington and frankly, i think he's probably even talking about news media and everybody else. what he said was an accurate statement. >> what do you make of that. >> about everybody in washington. >> that's a stretch to think he wasn't talking about trump. i think the guy. >> why didn't he mention his name? >> he didn't have to. >> because everybody knew who he was talking about. >> he was fired while on the toilet. he's pretty angry i think. >> then he's a disgruntled employee. >> you're in the barrel for a minute. one of the greatest presidents in history, the greatest 17-month presidency ever. your thoughts. >> i understand where the
president is coming from. i'm standing up for the president on this one. he turns on the news every night, we hear russia, fbi, and we hear about porn stars. we don't hear about 3.9% unemployment, the lowest for african-americans and hispanics in history. we don't hear about isis going from 34,000 square miles in iraq and syria to decimated. we don't hear about these negotiations would be the most fundamental change in the world if these negotiations with north korea. >> we read the paper. every front page every day practically is north korea. i don't buy that. >> but they're not saying it in the positive light of what we've seen with three americans released last week, the stop of the missile program. my point is, if i was this president, i would can frustrated there's no bandwidth for some of the good news. >> in the clip you just played of kellyanne ticking off accomplishments,she ticked off like peace with north korea and
that hasn't happened yet. she's counting that it looks now like that summit is likely not going to happen. that's not a win yet. >> a lot of what they claim is victories like killing environmental regulations, judge gorsuch are not considered big wins. >> if you look at what came as a big win is their tax cut which is underwater. their big victory. >> what do you mean underwater. >> more people disapprove of it than an prove of it. as the almost disillusion. you have 80% of americans say the country is divided. you have a majority of americans is thinking that america is losing respect, no the gaining respect across the globe. you have a president who is stuck between 44% and 47% approval. he's going to say he's 47 now. his numbers are improving. he has a ceiling on his approval right now. you have more americans thinking there's something wrong in this country than ever before.
that's not success. >> his numbers are improving. talk about that. more importantly right now for the 2018 elections, the generic ballot has tightened significantly. it's pretty much one point by a lot of people. it was almost three points in other points. >> and six points. >> now wait a minute. let's go back to the tax cuts. 91% have had an increase in take home pay. >> let's stop. we're not getting into this. i want to make picks. are the democrats going to win the house in november? >> i don't think so. >> you don't think so. cornell, you're the pollster, who is going to win this november? will the democrats get the 23 sees they need? they got three this week already. >> yes. i'll back this up with fact. 2006, you had the same factors there. a historically low approval president, a congress with 70% disapproval of congress and a sense that fundamentally they want change. the underlying factors here look very much like 2006.
you have more college educated white women breaking away from republicans not because of the economy because of their anger over the culture they see going on in washington right now. it's -- i know you like to make it about the democrats. it's an indictment on the president. republicans do run washington, right. >> let me ask you this. >> you're not going to take credit what's going on in the country. >> they'll say they roted against account tax cut. >> how many republicans, we saw republicans running an ad about tax cuts in pennsylvania for the special election but they quickly had to pull it down because it's not working. most americans don't feel this tax cut. >> i've had a lot of candidates already run about the tax cut. >> i hope do you. >> democrats dislike it so much -- >> it's not democrats. >> the roundtable is sticking with us. annie hasn't had a chance yet. tell me something i don't know coming up. what's the hesitation?
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we're back with the "hardball" round table. annie, tell me something i don't know. >> the leakers in the comes department have become the story of the trump administration there week and there are staffers who think they might, the ax might be coming for them and the word on the street the betting game in washington is, how long will sarah sanders last, will she push past july her one-year mark in the job. >> communications department is in trouble. >> yeah. >> god. >> just a little bit. >> we know what they did. he's dying anyway. they're dying anyway. go ahead. >> black pack came out with a poll of african-americans in battleground states. we talk about the econometrics improving. a majority of african-americans think the economy is worse, not better. a plurality feel they're falling behind. it is a very different picture for them economically than the numbers. >> for what group? >> african-americans. >> generally. >> yes. >> economically. >> brabender for john who is working for the senate race in
pennsylvania. >> we're going to talk about pennsylvania. in all the early primaries there's been a lot more democrats intensity higher turnout. that changed in the primary in pennsylvania this week. 850,000 more democrats than republicans in pennsylvania. yet on primary day, only about 60,000 more democrats than republicans actually showed up. and so the intensity in pennsylvania was nowhere near for the democrats what we saw in other states. >> will your candidate win on the immigration issue. >> i think it will be an important issue. in pennsylvania, the president won in pennsylvania on that issue. there's no reason you can't win the senate race. >> thank you. you all in your own way know what you're talking about. let me finish tonight with trump watch. you're watching "hardball." (burke) vengeful vermin.
trump watch thursday, may 17th, 2018. the giuliani trump strategy is now out in the open. worried that robert mueller produce evidence of criminal action by the president and his associates, the plan is to shift the country's attention to another question. not whether the president has been shown to be guilty or colluded with the russians or obstructed justice. nothing on the substance of what mule ter ultimately reports. what trump and his troubadour and giuliani want the country thinking about is the totally different question of whose side are you on. >> are you for the democrats and mueller in the deep state or the side of the man who has taken on those forces in the establishment? this is what they're using to pollute the national
conversation. attacks on the fbi, on the justice department storm troopers they call them, attacks on the legitimate mueller investigation they call it. i remember this kind of strategy being perpetrated back in october of 1984 in the days after president ronald reagan blew his first debate with challenger walter mondale, the reagan forces were preparing for the worst. what if reagan blew the second debate with mondale? what then? fearing it the worse, lee dream offed up the great american fog machine. if it's clear the president did badly it read, then it's our job to obscure the result about the at water strategy called for two main lionels of assault. one attack the other guy, in this case mueller. two, polarize the country, force people to decide whose side are you on, the political establishment or trump's. >> no matter what mueller presents, how it incriminates the president and his people, don't forget they say it's about a battle between them and us. the old great american fog
machine is now being wheeled out for use. it's not about the truth that works. it's about standing up for donald trump right or wrong. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. >> tonight on "all in" into this russia thing with trump and russia is a madeup story. >> one year of the mueller probe, and everyone now agrees, it's bigger than watergate. >> far bigger than watergate. >> the trump team starts year two with another contorted defense. >> if there was collusion with the russians, they would have used it. >> tonight, the collusion, the obstruction, and why this investigation is only getting bigger. then. >> i'll do anything to protect mr. trump. >> the ongoing fallout from the new yorker's piece on michael cohen's slush fund. plus. >> these aren't people. these are animals. >> the full context and the massive problem with the president's language on immigrants. >> i referred to them as animals and guess what, i