tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC June 17, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
one closely. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. home run for hillary. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in boston. let me start with hillary clinton's strong performance this evening. her big town hall interview with cnn came on the day the united states captured what president obama described as the master mind or one of the master minds of the attack on the u.s. facility in benghazi in 2012. it is clear to me, however, that secretary clinton, after a week of facing the lions of the press is impressive form to take on
the questions thrown at her. she went out and defended the obvious fact that ambassadors like chris stevens who was killed in benghazi take risks as part of their commitment to this country and to their mission in a dangerous world. shes used it as an opportunity to say the united states needs to be engaged in the world, even if it is dangerous, especially because it is dangerous. secretary clinton made clear we should not be engaged militariln today's iraq because the people of iraq aren't united behind the government there. the government itself wishes to be sectarian in both method, makeup and purpose. the government in baghdad is of, by and for the shiites to the exclusion of islam's sunni community. on domestic policy, secretary clinton said she has changed her mind on the issue of same-sex marriage, like the great majority of americans have. she took on the nra by saying we need background checks on gun
purchases. she said that despite the human horror involved we cannot let people on the other side of the borders believe that getting a baby into this country as they are doing now means the babieses get to stay in the country. she pushed for a path to citizenship, but not that path. a strong performance not intended to make everyone like her but certainly enough to deserve solid respect on the second week of her national engagement. joan walsh and michael steele join me now. they are both respected political analysts. in her town hall interview with cnn today hillary clinton went on offense on the issue of benghazi. here is hillary clinton with christian amanpour. >> we send americans into perilous, dangerous places all the time. i believe that's the right decision. we have to do it prudently, of course. but we need to be where things
are happening that can affect us. the security of our country, our friends and allies. so much else we hold dear. when people have every right to second guess and question, but when they say the united states should n't be in dangerous places i just disagree. i don't think we should be retreating from the world. that would be a position that i would strongly advocate. >> michael steele, i have been waiting a long time to hear somebody say the obvious. ambassadors make decisions in the countries where they represent the president of the united states. that's their job, to make tough decisions. chris stevens made a decision he was probably proud to make but cost him his life. it comes with the territory. she also made a point of talking where the president was, where she was that night. all the details everybody has asking for. i thought she hit a home run. your thoughts? >> i agree. i would give her to at least third base on a number of
things. i won't give her the full home run because she said, there are still things about benghazi i don't know. if she says this as the former secretary of state when this happened on her watch it feed it is cycle of curiosity that what is it we need to know. what don't you know, madam secretary, that the rest of us should know or we need to find out. >> she told us what her question. is. under questioning tonight was it this or that. there is a combination of things. why then, now. why go after that facility? >> that's only part of it. it's not just a major motive of the perpetrators of the horror that happened that night. it's also the motivation and the politics and approaches that were taken by the administration. i think she was more solid on benghazi than she's been in the past. i give her credit.
this was almost a reset for her in that sense. there is more she knows will come on this. it's not over yet. >> let's go to joan. i thought she hit a home run across the board tonight. it was the hillary clinton i have met on occasion. she was able to answer in real time questions which weren't easy. your thoughts? >> she was more comfortable, more on her gamen than she was last week either with diane sawyer or with terry gross in the interview where she got bogged down on whether and when she changed her mind on gay marriage. she didn't seem rattled. those are good things. in terms of michael's question, yes, there will be more to know. we'll never get to the bottom ofs who was there and why that night. i thought she answered without defensiveness in a way that she has n't before.
>> last week secretary clinton took heat after jousting with npr 's ter ary gross who aggressively questioned her about the changing stance on gay marriage. tonight hillary clinton was asked again. this time she was ready. here is more from hillary clinton on cnn. >> like most americans i know, my views have changed over time. it became clear to me that if we are going to support marriage it should be available to everyone regardless of who they love and marriage equality is a great human rights issue. i have evolved over time. i'm proud to state that i'm a full supporter of marriage equality right now. [ applause ] >> joan, she said change. that's all she had to say with ter ary gross. she said it on the first breath tonight. wow, that's a way to kill a problem. answer it. she did.
>> she and terry gross talked past each other that day. i believe she did eventually answer the kwecht but terry seemed so flabbergasted by secretary clinton's refusal to answer directly that i don't think she heard the answer when it came. she felt she was called a liar last week. now she's clear on what she's being asked and she's being honest. i thought it was a great sequence. it shows that she's learning. she was rusty when she started this. it's hard for us to imagine that after being in the public eye. she's tuned up. >> here's clinton attacking the gop on voting rights. here's more from cnn a moment ago with christian amanpour
>> should there be mandatory voting in the united states for america? >> no, but automatic registration. [ applause ] when a young person turns 18, that young person should be registered to vote. i deplore efforts by some to restrict the right to vote. >> that must drive your republican soul crazy, michael. >> no! >> warm-up thing republicans don't the like is everybody voting. everybody can vote. >> chris, let me state clearly and it's been part of my political career, i have been an advocate, the more participants -- >> how about automatic registration at age 18? >> i think anything we can do to encourage a young person to be engaged and committed citizen to the country through voting, absolutely.
it's worth further exploration if that's what we want to do. i agree with her that my party needs to get off the perception if not fact the noise about cutting back or at least creating these hills and valleys and difficult approaches. >> 36 states led by republican legislatures are trying to make it harder for people to vote. >> yeah. north carolina did an amazing thing. it was possible for high school seniors to preregister if they weren't where 18 yet. they made it illegal. instead of making it easier for young people to get in there, you are expected to vote. they are looking for ways for specifically young people not to be able to preregister and participate. >> i thought it was an important answer. she might get criticism from her own base by ducking the question
on whether some of the opposition, not all of it, but the strident opposition to the president is motivated by race. eventually she said, yes. there is prejudice about race and gender and sexual orientation. i thought she was a little bit too evasive. i think it's possible -- >> i think the president -- let me get back. i think the president himself doesn't like to make that charge. my experience is political. you accuse a person of having a race problem, you agitate that person. >> absolutely, chris. >> it's part of our history to have some. if you have some you go crazy when somebody accuses you. >> christian wasn't asking about this person or that person. it was a general question. i think people wanted to hear more. >> that would imply that republicans have a race problem, wouldn't it? >> no.
it would imply that some people have a race problem. she did eventually acknowledge that. >> i think they do but i'm not running for anything. i think they do. there is a pattern in this country. it's geographic and you can find where the worse trouble comes from. go ahead, michael. >> chris, you don't know and you cannot assume every democrat in the south is sitting there thanking heaven that barack obama is in the white house. look, the reality is joan is right. there are people in this country who still have a narrow view of race. that's something that for hillary clinton as well as for barack obama it is something you want to approach carefully. i won't beat her up too much on the way she answered the
question. when you engage in that you fill it out with the appropriate context. you don't answer in a political moment and let it go. >> let's look at this. like clock work some on the right on fox news suggested hillary was part of a bizarre conspiracy today surrounding the rest of the mastermind of the benghazi attack. they believe the united states picked up the ring leader so she'd look good in her interviews tonight on cnn and fox. let's watch. >> what a great thing to announce that the perpetrators had been brought to jut. it's all too neat, too cute. i want to be grateful. i want to give the benefit of the doubt to authorities. in this case it feels too neat on the timing. >> the timing on this stinks. face it. tonight hillary clinton for the first time will get tough questions about benghazi. tonight when that interview hits there will be a twin narrative -- the hillary clinton interview and the capture of this terrorist. i don't think it is a coincidence. this timing was planned. >> you know, i think i will let you start with this. that's paranoia. >> why?
why? >> sometimes you go to a party and you feel everybody knows each other and you don't know everybody. that's the sense here. everybody is in cahootses against you. >> i know, chris. i don't want to dig any identify that. i seriously don't. >> aren't you glad to be on msnbc where we tonight have crazy people regularly appearing? >> only occasionally. >> we have crazies here, too. i'm not going to say that. >> i gave hillary clinton a four-bagger. michaelle gave her three. how about you, joan? >> inside the park home run. did i split the difference? >> you did. >> joan will be online later to explain the infield fly rule. thank you, joan wallace and michael steele. coming up, are we ready to take sides in iraq on a religious war? should we be in the fight? let's think about it. back to hillary. many the line of fire on fox
tonight. how she stood up to questioning from two fox anchor people in an interview that took place after her appearance on cnn. also, the los angeles mayor uses a crude word to show his excitement over the l.a. kings victory in the stanley cup. that's in the side show where it belongs. finally the strange matter of water gate. it's an an verse roift break-in tonight. this is "hardball." the place for politics. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country, people in other parts go to work. that's not a coincidence. it's one more part of our commitment to america.
if she runs. people give hillary clinton the highest rating possible when it comes to qualities like her knowledge, experience, compassion and personal standards. she gets a negative score when it comes to being honest and straightforward. that will hurt. we'll be right back after this. . we build it in classrooms and exhibit halls, mentoring tomorrow's innovators. we build it raising roofs, preserving habitats and serving america's veterans. every day, thousands of boeing volunteers help make their communities the best they can be. building something better for all of us. ♪
call today for a low price on speeds up to 150mbps. and find out more about our two-year price guarantee. comcast business. built for business. welcome back. senior sunni and shiite leaders called for unity today. shiite men are signing up to join militias and sunni extremists are massacring shiites. iraqi prime minister nouri al malaki shows little plans of getting together with the with sunnis. 170 military personnel are set to secure americans at the u.s. embassy. the president said up to 275 u.s. soldiers could be deployed
there. there are reports that the president could send up to a hundred special forces in a training and advisory capacity. this comes as iraq is showing worrying signs of open sectarian or religious warfare. in one incident police said pro government shiite militiamen killed dozens of sunni detainees outside baghdad at a jail. according to the associated press sunni militants stormed the jail to fee them but shiite militiamen raced to the scene. later the bodies were found with gunshot wounds to the head and chestment meanwhile there is more evidence of mass killings from the other side. the sunni extremist group isis, here is richard engel reporting on an unsettling video i saw today released by iss. >> reporter: fighters from isis stopped trucks on the highway between syria and iraq. nbc news can't confirm the video released by isis. it appearses to show the terrifying religious violence
tearing this region apart. a militant asked the drivers if they are shiite. they claim they are sunni like the gunmen. the militant asks how sunnis pray specifically. it's a test. the answers are apparently un satisfacto satisfactory. they are executed. >> reporter: barry mccalfry is a four-star general and colin cowl was assistant secretary of defense from the middle east from 2009 to 2011. i want to start with the general. i guess we know hell is breaking loose in iraq. is it our business? do we have a national interest in going in with our man power? >> we have a national interest in iraq. at the end of the day we'll see a shia, sunni, religious war fought out. lebanon, syria, iraq, ran. we have interests at stake.
the question is if there is a vital interest to call for u.s. intervention. the answer in my judgment is no. it is hard to imagine what political purpose renewed engagement is going to entail except we better be ready to pull 5,000 americans out of our embassy which will be a challenge if baghdad turns into a street fight. >> it seems ma s malaki is a sh. he seems to have built his case of, by and for the shias. his government, politics, everything is aimed at winning their love and screwing, if you will, to use an american expression, the sunni minority. he seems to have good ties with iran. how do we turn him from building a sectarian force into being franklin roosevelt with a broad
coalition with all kinds of people? how do we do that at this point? >> i'm not sure we can. we have been trying since 2006 when he first became prime minister. i disagree a little bit with general mccaffery. i think we have an interest in isis not establishing a safe haven in iraq and syria. this is a group that wants to hit the united states. they share al qaeda's ideology and their competition with al qaeda and pakistan gives them an incentive to punch us in the nose if they can. we have a narrow counter terrorism interest. i share the concern about us getting involved in a sectarian civil war which is why i think the obama administration is exactly right. any increased military assistants whethers it is advisers, intelligence or potentially air strikes has to be tied to a commitment by malaki and other iraqi leaders to reach across the sectarian divide. >> let's not waste time here, sir. you are an expert. do you believe it's plausible that the political preconditions could be established before we
get involved militarily or are you on the slippery slope to get us involved and have a wish sandwich that somehow malaki will change? >> i don't think it is a yes, no, zero, one equation. there are things we can do that are limited which could help like expedited military equipment and advisers. i don't think we should be deeply involved in air strikes and other things unless malaki and others make compromises. it's not clear, but he's facing a crisis. we are putting a lot of pressure on him and so are the iranians. we and iran are pushing in many of the same directions. >> you believe the iranians want to help sunnis? >> i don't think thy want to help sunnises per se. they have an interest in iraq not becoming a failed state. >> here is this morning super hawk. bill crist said the president should go in with air power, special forces and conventional troops. the goal was to be a referee
between the warring sides. let's watch him on msnbc. >> we do what we should have done in syria in 2011 and iraq. go in, try to strengthen the moderates. give the sunnis an incentive to break. how do they if we don't protect them. >> or will we stand in the middle and somehow try to keep warring sides apart? >> yes. that is what we should do, eugene. >> these aren't the options, bill. >> that is what we should do oh. >> stand in the middle and be shot at by both sides. >> there will be being shot at by both sides. there is an unbelievable deterioration of the situation. >> that's exactly the language neo-cons pushed in 1973 pushing us to try to play referee in lebanon. right before our marines were blown up. the idea that we are seen as noncombatants, nonpartisan, we
are always taking a side. if we go in there now we are taking the side against isis. who are we kidding? why do we lie to ousts and expect the truth to come out somewhere along the line? why lie ourselves into a war? that's a lie that we are referees there. we take sides. why else would we go in there? >> chris, here is the deal. the administration has to write down the purpose they are trying to achieve in iraq. write it down as a political goal and end up with a military response they think will help. we are now seeing round numbers, small units. don't worry, they are not going to engage in direct combat. they will be there for advisers. this is the kind of nonsense that gits us engaged. if we want to smash isis we can probably do it with 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 people, special ops around the country, bring in
close air support, b-2 bombers, et. that won't fly with the american people. it is unlikely to help a military, four of whose divisions out of 14 just evaporated in the face of 9,000 fighters. we are not yet clearly thinking about the issue. >> telling the truth to ourselves would be a start. thank you, general. thank you colin kahl. up next, joe biden celebrates a victory in south america. this is "hardball," the place for politics. good job!
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crashes, and you get the error message 404 government not found. time for the sideshow, of course. the advance of isis forces toward baghdad got many here wondering why the united states tried to democrat tiez iraq in the first place. jon stewart was on hand last night to have are a man to man talk about how it all began. >> as you know we went into iraq for one reason and for one reason only. >> that's what this fight is about, planting the seeds of democracy. >> that seed of democracy in iraq. >> it was about what happens when one country loves another country very much. and that country then deposits his democracy seed, typically laser-guided, into another country's let's say fertile
crescent. next up the los angeles kings may have won the stanley cup, but they are being upstaged by their own victory party when their hometown mayor decided to add a little shock value to his congratulations speech. this is what he said on live tv before a sold out audience at the staples center. >> there are two rules in politics. they say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and they ever swear, but this is a big [ bleep ] day. way to go, guys. >> that's what i would call show time. it's one way to get your point across. you know what word he used. finally, team usa beat ghana 2-1 in the first world cup game in brazil last night. vice president joe biden in brazil on a four-country tour of latin america dropped by the locker room after the match. he was in high spiritses as hen congratulated the players. up next, in the line of fire. hillary clinton again in her interview on fox tonight that ended just moments ago.
we'll catch up with hillary and how she's doing. so far she's hitting homers. back here in the place for politics in a minute. and it feels like your lifeate revolves around your symptoms, ask your gastroenterologist about humira adalimumab. humira has been proven to work for adults who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief, and many achieved remission.
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here's what's happening. two deaths are blamed on the powerful twin tornadoes that tore through nebraska on monday. the storms destroyed most of pilger. the nebraska governor declared a state of emergency. president obama is in new york city for a series of fundraisers at the home of anna wintour. and a bombing in baghdad left ten peel dead and 25 injured. the blast hit a crowded outdoor market. back to "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." hillary clinton, as i said, wasn't done when she finished up her hour-long town hall meeting on cnn. 45 minutes later, secretary clinton went into the lion's den, fox news, to face questions from brett behr and greta van sus attorney. in a surprise to no one the first eight questions were about benghazi. big surprise. soon after, there were more. joining me is michelle bernard and gene cummings whose deputy managing editor at blumberg news. thanks for joining us. secretary clinton gave a clear, i think precise, detailed account of where she was the night of the benghazi attack and whom she talked to. let's listen to her tick-tok here. >> we were in direct communication insofar as it was
possible. remember, they were under heavy attack. we had a lot going on for those diplomatic security officers to deal with. then, as you know, the attack later moved to the cia annex. >> did you talk to secretary panetta that night? >> i talked with director petraeus. i talked on a secure video conference with a full array of officials. i knew because i had talked with the national security adviser tom donelin both secretary panetta and general dempsey were doing everything they could. >> secretary clinton was crisp and clear on the president's whereabouts when the benghazi attack happened. let's listen to this. >> do you know where the president was through the attack? >> the president was in the white house. he was in the oval office when i got word of the attack. i got word asking for donelin
which is our point of contact. i was told he's in with the president and with secretary panetta and general dempsey. i said, i need to talk to all of them. i know from my conversations with them that at that moment the president said to our defense officials, do everything you can to help our people. >> jean, it seemed the fox cannons were in fixed positions tonight. eight questions on benghazi. they didn't show a lot of -- they didn't scamper much in asking interesting questions. >> it with was interesting that they went there first. this has been a big issue for them. they have been monitoring all of the probes and investigations of the benghazi attack. it makes sense that it would be the area they would hit first. >> also where it should be the most prepared. >> exactly. he went through a series of
specific questions. if you had read her book she does a chapter on this. she had the answers at the ready for that. so she was prepared to answer all of those questions. in listening to it, i didn't hear anything that was particularly new. >> i thought it was interesting that when you write a book i have experienced that you spend time getting the questions out of your head. the questions you want to answer, the questions your editor raises. she must have known the questions because she seemed to have them ready, pretty clearly at the moment they were asked. it was realtime performance tonight. >> i thought the interview was extraordinary. not so much the questions. in looking at the tone and tenner of the interview of the questions we saw coming from brett bear. the questions were boring. with what i found inteachinging about her answer -- the intriguing about her answers is
once again if we believe she's running for president and i think she is, it was intriguing to look at how she's reaching out to the fox demographic. at cnn she distanced herself from the the president on how to deal with syria and afghanistan. on the question of benghazi -- you're left with the question if she had been in the white house in the oval office with the three men at that time, had been given an opportunity to make the, quote/unquote, hard choice, would benghazi have turned out differently. i don't know if it was done purposefully or not. it gave her the opportunity to show to a fox audience she's to the right of president obama on issues of national security. >> wait a minute. what would have been a tougher position that she could have taken conceptually that night? >> honestly, chris, i don't know. i don't know the information that was coming into them during
the interview. >> what would a tough person have done? what would a fox viewer want done? >> a fox viewer wantses to know they are doing everything they could in benghazi. a fox viewer or somebody who is very tough on national security and hawkish would like someone who says basically, i would have told them to go in and blow those people up and make sure our people came up unharmed. >> i don't know how you can do both. i heard hillary clinton and i have heard it before. she was at the state department all night. she eventually went home. i don't buy it, michelle. i don't think she was trying to distance herself. all through the interviews she's been adopting to her role as a deputy to the president. except in one case where she said she would have gone and supported moderate forces in syria two years ago. >> it is a difference. >> that is an area where she's put some space between the president and herself.
i found it interesting tonight on fox where she said she's not at all in favor of negotiations and communications with iran in dealing with what's going on in iraq. we don't know where the administration is going to end up on that particular question. secretary kerr ary has opened some informal discussions with iran. i was a little bit surprised that hillary clinton drew a pretty clear line in the sand for herself on that. we'll see how events play out for the obama administration. this could be another area where they have a differing view. >> she's definitely to the right. she never pushed netanyahu on the issue of settlements. back to you, michelle. >> i respectfully disagree with you and jeanne in this area. if you look at the two interv w
interviews and interviews she's given on issueses of national security and certain issues where we look at voting demographics, she's distancing herself if president obama. did you notice tonight in the cnn interview when she was asked, for example, are there people who are racist in terms of how they deal with president obama. she fused to ever come out and say there were instances of racism. however in the fox interview she said to greta van s surks tern sexism is an issue. >> that's just my opinion. >> after she refused to say people were operating against the president because of his african-american background, she did say that prejudice against people of color, prejudice against women, prejudice against people who are gay, she went through the lineage of our country's history and said of course they are evident in our society. i think it's smart. they don't take people and tie
their motives to something particular. she's being careful. >> very carefu fuful i agree to. hillary clinton was reaching out to voterses that in 2007 or 2008 barack obama said were people who get scared of people who are are different to them. they cling to religion, guns or have anti-immigrant sentiment. she has to reach out to that demographic. that's what we saw tonight. >> i believe people have been opposing president obama, many of them because of his background, his race, absolutely. thank you, michelle. but i'm not running. up next, a burning question for more than four decades. who personally ordered the watergate break-in back in '72 on this day? this is "hardball," the place for politics. she keeps you on your toes. you wouldn't have it any other way. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right.
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we're back. it was 42 years ago today that five men were arrested trying to bug the offices of the democratic national committee at the watergate office complex in washington. the break-in at the weargate spawned a series of cover-ups that led to the resignation of richard nixon in august of 1974. in his 1978 memoir entitled "rn" nixon said, after all this there was no evidence that anyone in the white house had been involved in the watergate break-in. but in 2003, 31 years after the break-in, jeb mcgruder are, a former white house aide who went to jail insisted nixon himself
ordered the break-in. here he is on nbc's the "today" show. >> liddy thought the republicans needed intelligence on the democrats. >> democrats. >> i don't think liddi fought it. i think he was told by the white house to prepare some plans and we had rejected all six of them except the watergate plan and the president got on the phone and said we need to get the information on larry o'brien, so let's go with the liddi plan. >> you actually heard the president? >> yes. >> well, four decades later, fascination with the attempted bugging that toppled a president remains. douglas brinkley is a presidential historian and tom defrank is author and contributing editor to "national journal." doug, thank you for this for coming on tonight. this is fascinating. it took 31 years for someone to say, nail richard nixon,s himself. do you think that's credible the
way he describes that conversation where nixon sort of bugged in or interrupted a conversation between john mitchell and the others? >> it's plausible, chris, but i wouldn't bet any money on it. jeb magruder switched his story constantly. he was almost a professional liar. he told so many different versions that a scholar looking into this doesn't know what magruder really thinks. either nixon knew or john mitchell knew. it seemed like it did come from the white house, but i don't think magruder is a footnotable source because he wasn't credible. >> tom? >> well, he may or may not have been credible. maybe he was just trying to assuage some of his own guilt. he was 68 or 69 years old when he made those revelations. it's clear, it's kind of like the hitler diaries that turned out to be fake. somebody once wrote it almost didn't matter. bottom line was the conspiracy reached all the way to top levels of the white house, and
it's fairly clear, i think, most scholars and historians now believe that if not president nixon, himself, some of his closest aides ordered the break-in. >> well, i always thought, in fact, i wrote about it in my book that nixon had a determination back then, obsession to find, prove that larry o'brien was on the payroll of the mysterious hughess. "o'brien's not going to get away with it" nixon told haldeman. "we're going to get proof of his relationship with hughes and just when he's done for the money. nixon was frustrated at his d campaign's failure to find dirt on the democrats." back to you, doug. nixon always wanted to get even for the fact he paid brutally in '62 for the connection where he brother had gotten the $250,000 so-called loan from hughes and larry o'brien, chairman of the
democratic national committee was also on the payroll of hugs and wanted that in print and wanted to get the dirt. >> absolutely. you know, chuck holston used to say nixon was part of the knee in the groin school of politics. i mean, he came up just going after everybody when he ran for congress, when he roan for senator. the pit bull for the eisenhower campaign in 1952 and '56. he really liked rough and tumble politics and wanted to get o'brien. he thought he could him on what he said and also by bugging the watergate, they thought there's information that cuba had a connection to the democratic party that some cuban, you know, castro types were funneling money into the democratic party. hence the break-in. >> yeah. tom, it seems so much of richard nixon as we know is a result of his life in politics. he felt that he had had a break-in when he was running for congress the first time. the press never liked him. even when he was right about alger hist, the president didn't like him. kennedy beat him and got away
with personal stuff we all know. nixon didn't understand he's one of these people who gets caught, like ted kennedy gets caught. some people get away with everything and some people get caught. nixon led his life as if he wasn't going to get caughts and he did. >> he had real paranoid tendency. he had demons. i mean, i remember jerry ford once said to me, richard nixon was the 90% a good person, there was 5% or 10% of his persona that was bad. and at time, the bad just simply overwhelmed the vast majority of the good nixon. and it usually came in situations like this, chris, where he felt like he'd been screwed his entire life by political enemies and it was time for payback. >> i can remember henry kissener said of nixon, if only someone has loved him. unbelievable. thank you, tom defrank, doug brinkley. i always look to your history books. we'll be right back after this.
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let me finish tonight with the strange matter of watergate. it sits there as a moment in our history that could well be hard for future generations to even fathom. people from overseas, i think of france, never did grasp what all the excitement and condemnation was about back then. i think it's a case of you had to be there.
for all kinds of reasons, past history, psychological, logical self-protection, president richard nixon decided to create a group of plumbers, that's what he called them, to operate outside the official investigative agenesees of the united states. he wanted stuff done that the legitimate authorities would not do for him or decided they would not do for them. he wanted secrecy about his own policymaking and wanted to know the democrats' secrets, wanted to know what the kennedy people were up to, the people who had beaten him and humiliated him in 1960. richard nixon tried to cover up the watergate break-in. if he ordered the break-in, that certainly made sense. if he didn't order it, he felt the need to try to have his people get away with it. again, you had to be there. nixon made the big mistake of telling the american people one thing, that he didn't engage in a cover-up, and what's found out on the white house tapes to have done just that. once that happened, the american people couldn't have him as
their president. no one knew that better than his own party. those who knew they could no longer defend him. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. big news today in the case of four americans killed in the u.s. consulate in benghazi, one of the alleged ringleaders in that attack was apprehended by u.s. special operations forces, being transferred back to the u.s. where he will face criminal charges for murder. in the case of the murder of those four americans, which is what the actual benghazi attack was about, this is probably the biggest break in that case thus far. there's even new credible reporting from "the new york times" confirming what the white house and susan rice initially said about the attack in the days aft