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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 17, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PDT

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presidential campaign and in wednesday night's debate. that is our broadcast for tonight. "hardball with chris matthews" begins now. for all of us here, good night from new york. mrs. trump to the rescue. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. well, down in the polls, the trump campaign is turning to a surrogate who hasn't been heard from a lot, melania trump. mrs. trump is now speaking out, defending her husband in the wake of that "access hollywood" videotape. here she is tonight. >> i said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate. it's not acceptable. and i was surprised, because that is not the man that i know.
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and as you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on. it was only a mike, and i wonder if they even knew that the mike was on, because they were kind of a boy talk, and he was lead on, like, egg on, from the host to say dirty and bad stuff. >> you feel the host, billy bush, was sort of egging him on? >> yes. >> well, a note about the clip trump is referring to, the audio was recorded on an "access hollywood" bus tour in the presence of others. "access hollywood" is an nbc universal program. anyway, melania's defense comes as several new polls show how far back trump is, clinton is in the lead right now showing clinton leading trump by four points nationally, and that's the best he's doing, he's only down by four.
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she's up nine points in a new cbs poll out tonight. she leads by 11 points in a new nbc/"wall street journal" poll, that's our poll and she is ahead by 12 points in the new monmouth poll out today. meanwhile, trump has spent the last week complaining about a rigged political system, electoral system. >> instead of being held accountable, hillary is running for president in what looks like a rigged election, okay? it looks to me like a rigged election. the election is being rigged by corrupt media, pushing false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect hillary clinton. >> the process is rigged. this whole election is being rigged. >> we have to make sure the people of philadelphia are protected, that the vote counts are 100%. i hear these horror shows, and we have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us. so important that you get out and vote.
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so important that you watch other communities, because we don't want this election stolen from us. we don't want this election stolen from us. >> well, yesterday, trump's allies explained he was referring to the media when he talked about a rigged system. let's watch. >> well, i think what donald trump is talking about is, frankly, what appears to be the monolithic support of the national media for hillary clinton's campaign. >> and i believe the rigging is level of the national establishment. i don't think it's at the level of stealing votes at the precinct level. >> it's pretty clear what he means. he's never talked about cheating at the polling place. >> well, they all said it was about media, and trump didn't back him up. he contradicted his supporters here. here he is tweeting, catch this, he's tweeted, keep going, later sunday saying, the election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing crooked hillary, but also at many polling places. sad. and today trump tweeted, of course, there is large scale voter fraud happening on and
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before election day. why do republican leaders deny what is going on? so naive. so why is trump calling foul three weeks before election day? and why is melania making the rounds now? i'm joined by nbc's kelly o'donnell. kelly, let me talk about melania. why do you think she's been brought out? she's sort of an unknown figure. we're not used to hearing from her. and there she is talking about an area -- interesting, she said she didn't think that her husband knew he was being taped. i think we agree on that. we all assume he wasn't aware he was going to be taped for later use, but he was. your thoughts about her defense? >> well, i think melania trump is the greatest character witness that donald trump can have right now, because she is someone who has been by his side. you can imagine that in their home life, this has been a key topic. and there is no one who can speak to his character better than his wife or his children. and so for her to come forward and to support him after these kinds of allegations and all of the fallout from that can be powerful.
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the fact that we see so little of her probably enhances the value of her coming forward and speaking. we know that she has been a very private person. that politics is not something she ever imagined would be part of her life. and you can argue that there's perhaps no one in donald trump's world who has been more negatively affected by participation in this campaign than melania trump. her privacy gone, her husband put through this kind of scrutiny, which for political families of any party, whenever crisis hits, it's always tough on the spouse, on the children. so having her come forward can be powerful. chris? >> you know, i was just wondering whether it's not the same thing. maybe it is the same thing. in broad brush terms, you're dead right. the question, though, in the case of the clintons, it was infidelity, which was the issue, i think. in this case, it's just sort of general bad behavior, you know, awful behavior, that really didn't have much to do with seduction or anything like that, but you were laughing, because it is so absurdly bad that it's like not even credible to even
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have a conversation about. because we don't even talk about it. but infidelity is something we're more familiar with. and that's where hillary was able to come out and say, i'm still with him, leave me alone, it's my business. i'm not sure it's the same question, is it? >> well, and times are different. i don't think the country is as innocent as it might have been 20, 25 year ago, so that always changes the lens through which we look at these things. also in the clinton case, with respect to monica lewinsky, that occurred inside the white house with an intern, and there was sort of an employment situation there. and, of course, with paula jones, there was litigation. and so with donald trump, in most cases here, we're talking about new people coming forward with old accounts, and it has not had time to be litigated yet. are these believable accounts? the corroborating information, all of that is being reported out. and many people are looking at this and saying, these women appear credible. and there are others who are supporters of donald trump who say, this is politically timed
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to undercut his candidacy. it's the kind of land mine everywhere situation politically. and you're right, it is uncomfortable. no one wants to talk about these things. they're salacious, they're uncomfortable. he says he's embarrassed. i think the country's embarrassed, as well. and voters who want to look to a presidential candidate for character, this certainly undercuts his character if people believe these allegations and the stories brought forward by these women are believable and truthful, that hurts him. then you find supporters who say, he may have misbehaved, he may have said things he should not have said. i'm not looking for that in a president or a presidential candidate, i want change and he's the closest in the two-person choice of this election, of course, four candidates. but the binary choice that most people are considering. so, times have changed, i think the country is wearing down in its sort of threshold of what strikes people with horror. and there's also the timing of this. this has come one after another
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after another. very late in the campaign. and it's something that trump has had some difficulty responding to. >> a little reporting also from you tonight, kelly. what about this christie interview you did with governor christie where he said something about this case regarding the "access hollywood" and the way that the candidate for president has handled or failed to handle it. >> well, i was able to see governor chris christie here in manhattan tonight. he was attending an event and we were able to stop him on the street and he spent a few minutes talking with us. and he told me that on a couple of things, he felt that donald trump did not sufficiently apologize for the recording, the "access hollywood" recording. he thought that those words were defenseless. i also asked him, given their long relationship, had he ever personally witnessed any inappropriate conduct? and he said he had not. in addition to that, he said he believes that donald trump has told him privately that these are false allegations and he is willing to accept his friend's account of that, that these are
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false allegations, and so he is standing by donald trump. he has not been as visible in the last week or so in the campaign, and that certainly raised questions. and i think in talking with governor christie, he would say that he was not pleased that donald trump did not do more to be more contrite publicly to express his embarrassment and his sorrow over those words recorded. that's, of course, before the women came forward. this is a complicated set of facts for anybody involved in donald trump's world and supporting his campaign. governor christie tells me he is not going to the las vegas debate, but he continues to support him and continues working as the chairman of his transition team. chris? >> thank you so much, kelly o'donnell, for nbc news. a spokesman for speaker paul ryan reacted to trump's charge of a rigged election, quote, our democracy relies on confidence in election results and the speaker is fully confident that the states will carry out this election with integrity. meanwhile, the ohio secretary of state, a republican and a trump
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supporter, also took issue with trump's rhetoric. let's watch that. >> we have so many safeguards in place in our election system. it's bipartisan. it's transparent, and there's just no justification for concern about widespread voter fraud. i actually intend on voting for donald trump. but i'm just remorseful or regretful that he's saying things like this, which really undermine the potential that he has as a candidate. they are not the kind of things that he should be saying. >> anyway, trump's talk of a rigged election might be having an impact. according to a new poll from politico and the morning consult, 41% of registered voters now agree the election could be stolen from trump. that's two out of five think this could be rigged against trump. joining me now, the former chair of the republican party of florida, al cardenas, he's also a former senior adviser to jeb bush and also david corn.
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a little time for comment here. what do you make of these charges that seem so third world. >> you know, the operative word is access. he had a softball pitched at him. he could have talked about campaign shenanigans in the clinton campaign, he could have talked about the e-mails, he could have talked about the chairman's resignation. he could have talked about everything and say, hey, it's coming our way, be careful, but, no, he had to add electoral fraud. you heard the secretary of state. we've had 200 some years of democracy in america. we have never in our history had to deal with that kind of conversation. our country, what sets me off is that we're an example of the world what an election is like. peaceful transfer of power, orderly process, electoral process. everybody in the world comes to see how we do it so they can do it like we do it. and all of a sudden with these remarks, all you do is just throw a whole bunch of crap into the fire. >> we had a case in '93 in philadelphia, state senate race, there was some vote stealing.
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they broke the rules about absentee ballots. the judge threw the guy out, put the republican in, dealt with. it's taken seriously. >> you know, it happens once in a while, but donald trump can't -- you can see that he might legitimately lose. >> is this a hedge? >> it's a hedge, because he wants open rebellion should he lose. he's setting up a situation where republicans will have to pick and choose between two sides. one side, well, he lost, let's get on with life. the other side, it was stolen from donald trump, hillary clinton is illegitimate, you must impeach her. you can't work with her. >> this is what he did with birtherism. he said obama was an illegitimate and now he's going to say she's illegitimate before she's elected. >> there is no kernel of truth -- >> let's talk politics and not ideology. just think for a second. how does this help his band of excited people? it looks like he's thrown in the towel. al, if i'm out there, i would say, this guy's given up. he's already blaming people. he is blaming a crooked election. >> because they believe he has a populist movement going who
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believes beyond this election that they've got a movement going and they're going to turn america around trump's way. so he believes he needs to fuel that fire every single day and get -- and he also believes that this crowd is, going to go and vote 90% and overwhelm the -- >> it's 7:00 sunday morning, this is monday, these things move so fast. but yesterday morning, i must have been somewhere, i get up in the morning and i'm reading his tweets -- it's not 4:00 in the morning or 3:00 in the morning, but 7:00 in the morning, he's tweeting at least three tweets attacking "saturday night live." >> yes. >> what's that about? >> it was a pretty brutal picture of him alec baldwin did. >> i know we have three weeks to go until election day, but i think we have to dispel the notion, dispense with the notion that he does things in a rational, sane way. >> i've got to put this on. >> of course you -- but it's idiotic for him to do it. >> another target for trump on twitter this weekend was "saturday night live." trump wrote, quote, watched saturday nightlife hit job on me. time to retire the boring and
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unfunny show. alec baldwin portrayal stinks. >> if he can't handle alec baldwin, how does he handle vladimir putin? >> a few weeks ago, he praised "saturday night live." he was a special guest of "saturday night live." same thing he does with cnn polling. he had a tweet about that, he said, oh, it's great, i'm ahead. i don't think he thinks. i think he pulls the trigger -- >> there's a mental health issue. i mean, we don't talk about -- >> are you getting into this, he said she's taking drugs, you're saying he's got mental health -- >> he acts in an unhinged, erratic fashion all the -- he once attacked iran because their soldiers gave us the finger at some of our ships. he is erratic and i feel sad for melania, who comes out and says, those are bad words. >> you know what i like, i loved emily blunt's monologue last night when she sang. the talent on that show is unbelievable. anyway, thank you, al cardenas, thank you, david corn. i don't think "saturday night
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live" is focused on him but focused on being great. up next, donald trump and his supporters are running at a quid pro quo between the state department and the fbi. we've got the facts on that. this is "hardball," the place for politics. xwxexe
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this is very big and frankly unbelievable. what was just found out is that the department of justice, the state department and the fbi colluded, got together to make hillary clinton look less guilty and look a lot better than she looks. this is one of the big breaking stories of our time, in my opinion. this shows corruption at the highest level and we can't let it happen as american citizens. >> welcome back to "hardball."
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that was, of course, donald trump responding to just released fbi documents relating to the investigation into hillary clinton's private e-mail server. one note seems to indicate a quid pro quo suggestion between the fbi and the state department over the classification of one e-mail. the fbi note cites an fbi official who, quote, indicated he had been contacted by patrick kennedy, undersecretary of state, who had asked his assistance in altering the e-mail's classifications in exchange for a quid pro quo. in exchange for marking the e-mail unclassified, state would have reciprocated by allowing the fbi to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden. but the fbi and state department both pushed back today. one fbi official told nbc news it was an fbi agent, not kennedy, who first brought up a possible quid pro quo. for more, i'm joined by nbc's kristen welker. this is a big one. >> it's a big one, yes, in the sense it's giving a lot of fodder to republicans. but here's the bottom line, your last point, the fbi and state department saying, this gets it all wrong. there was a robust discussion
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about all of these e-mails, chris, between the different agencies. how should they be classified? and this discussion pertained to an individual e-mail. it was upgraded to classified and it stayed that way. so, there was never a quid pro quo, but to this point, this request came from an fbi official. and that's what that document confuses, according to both the fbi and the state department. let me just read you the statement from the fbi and we can talk about it a little bit more. the fbi says, having been previously unsuccessful in attempts to speak with a senior state official during the same conversation, the fbi official asked the state department official, so it came from the fbi official to the state department official, if they would address a pending unaddressed fbi request for space for additional fbi employees assigned abroad. the classification of the e-mail was not changed, and it remains classified today. so that's sort of the crux of this. the e-mail remained classified. at the same time, an fbi
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official raised during one of these discussions, can you have more fbi agents abroad? important to also understand what 302s are. they are notes that were taken by fbi officials during interviews. so is it possible that those notes were in some ways exaggerated or missed the point? it's possible. i don't want to say that's what happened in this case, but it seems to be that's the pushback that you're getting from the fbi and state department. the state department says this allegation is inaccurate and does not align with the facts. they maintain there was no discussion of a quid pro quo. >> thank you, nbc's kristen welker. when we return my election diary two days before the final presidential debate. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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beyond the headlines, beyond the face, the spotlights, the fodder and bravado, beyond the well, blaming billy bush is probably as good an argument you're likely to get and has the strength of blaming one celebrity over another in a public relations sense might do good even if it doesn't make donald trump look much like a leader. the important question as i began with who is the real donald trump, the gifted brand man capable of building tall buildings or portrayed by these women who have come forward? is he the guy on the tape, the
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guy on the bus, the guy whose voice we heard? second question, is melania going to put a positive face on this race, or is the trump campaign going to be a complaint that the election is going to be rigged, stolen from him despite his plurality in the votes? melania is a signal of the first, but if he keeps yelling we was robbed, all the positive pr isn't going to help. who are you going to pay attention to, melania sticking it to billy bush or donald trump sticking it to the american political system? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. join me tomorrow at 7:00 eastern. see you then.
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>> announcer: tonight on "all in." >> it's a rigged system. it's a rigged election. >> the conspiracy theory campaign. >> let's hope that our country gets a fair shake. this is a big mess. >> donald trump steps up his unprecedented charges that the media, hillary clinton, and now republican officials are stealing the election. then new polling shows an expanding battleground map for democrats as they send the big guns into arizona. >> i know it's a campaign, but this isn't about politics. it's about basic human decency. >> plus the latest on the attack on the north carolina republican office. and from cordial adversary to all-out enemy. >> she should right now be in jail. >> the dangerous uncharted waters of 2016 when "all in" starts right now.