tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 16, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PST
you're fired. or, you're hired. matthews in washington. three big guests on "hardball" tonight, senator bob corker, a dark horse prospect for secretary of state, ohio congressman tim ryan, the rust belt democrat ready to challenge nancy pelosi for house leadership. senator rand paul. well, this as president-elect donald trump and his allies are criticizing, disputing and otherwise down playing reports his transition is in disarray even as multiple outlets portray a team consumed by backbiting, vendettas and acrimony. over the last 24 hours, the president-elect has taken to twitter to personally address those reports. he said last night a "very
organized process is taking other positions." adding with a note of suspense "i am the only one who knows who the finalists are." this follows what some describe as a purge of chris christie allies from trump's transition team. former congressman mike rodgers night. know, in the palace intrigue there are people who are in and people who are out and the people who have been asked to move on have some relationship with chris christie. >> rodgers also said the problem inside trump tower is that it's shots. >> i think there is some of command coming out of new york. settled soon, they'll need to do it because as the clock ticks, all of these decisions become more important and you have to make name sooner with more authority and forward thinking to make sure they don't bump into anything in the future.
>> lookberg reports trump is considering senator ted cruz of texas for attorney general. and while e when it comes to top cabinet position, secretary of state the toppest of them all, a source close to rudy giuliani tells nbc the mayor's inner circle expects it to happen but he's yet to receive an official offer. this comes amid report that giuliani made million off foreign clients including a payment from an anti-ayatollah iranian political party. other contenders include ambassador john bolton and bob corker of tennessee who lynn l join us in the program. o'donnell, robert costa and you eugene robinson with me, columnist for the "washington post" and nbc political analyst. i want to get to you on this, kel. to come flying out of that tower you're covering but what do you make of this death squad?
suddenly mike rodgers is kicked rush. "you're fired"? >> based on my reporting, chris, what i have been told is jared kushner, the president-elect's son-in-law, has been the center of power for a very long time. through the campaign and now especially in the transition. while kellyanne conway had campaign manager title, steve bannon had the ceo title, it's the tilelessless jared kushner who has been the power base, trusted business hi father-in-law, obviously trusted by his wife ivanka and flying under the radar for quite a bit of time now. that a figure like mike rodgers, widely respected, former fbi agent, former head of the house intel committee, someone respected but doesn't have chris christie ties. he was, in fact, hired by chris christie for the transition to run national security but they don't have a personal history.
and yet based on my reporting rodgers indicating that he was told that based on his association with chris christie he was being pushed out and that goes back to the very personal conflict between jared kushner and governor christie over the prosecution of kushner's father charles ten years ago. chris? >> is chris christie, with all his problems with the bridge and not being president, not being president now typhoid mary? anybody who's ever contacted him is now dead? >> this this transition phase, what we have seen is there are several figures associated with christie who have been told to leave. christie in new jersey politics and people he brought in with expertise. about is i'm told senator jeff sessions of alabama -- and christie worked carefully to ings like big cabinet positions and key transition employees and that both sessions
and christie each signed off on every name so that if one thought this was a good choice and the other did not, they would agree that they both had to come to terms with accepting whatever the list was and so the fact that some of those names have now been pushed aside, that doesn't reflect on jeff sessions who is still there and very much a part of it and anticipated to get some cabinet-level job, but on the christie side it appears that there is an intentional blockade against governor christie and all the reporting suggests that it is personal from kushner to christie. >> robert costa, this doesn't president-elect to have someone around that's able to knock somebody off because they don't like the line he came from? this is a hell of a lot of power, especially the case of mike rodgers where somebody thinks it would be a moderating force in the intelligence world. what can you tell us? >> this is more than an ideological battle, not like
hawk versus doves, we're seeing a restructure of power and kelly nailed it when she talked about the nexus between bannon and sessions and kushner, these are the people in trump's ear. >> a little perspective here, presidents get elected. nobody elected jared kushner to be president of the united states nobody elected what seems to be a death squad knocking off people because of past abuses. >> well people elected donald trump, though, they did. i personally don't understand why but they did so you have to assume he's running the show. you have to assume this is the way he wants it. >> why is he delegating so much to his son-in-law? >> look at the way he ran the trump organization, which was essentially a family business, right? as soon as his children were old enough and experienced enough to be brought in and groomed, they became the inner circle in the trump oorgs along with his son-in-law jared kushner on whom
he has relied pretty much throughout the campaign, again, as was said, under the radar but people knew he was very a tremendously important person as we look toward the formation of the trump white house. >> unbelievable. elliot cohen, a trump critic, a moderate neocon who worked in the state department under president bush said his talk with a member of trump's transition team was so hostile it led him to advise fellow republicans to stay away. naoko hen had expanded on that in a "washington post" op-ed writing "the president-elect is surrounding himself with mediocrities whose chief qualitication seems to be unquestioning loyalty. one bad boss can be ignored, a gaggle of them will poison all of them. they will turn on each other." jason miller called him bitter. >> inside there's a solid plan, a method al kay proech to this being put together.
i've read the news reports that want to make this like -- all souths of descriptions i've heard. and anyone saying anything else is either, a, bitter because they're not on the inside being considered or they're bitter because the election was last week and they didn't get the result they wanted. >> let's go back to kelly around the horn here. this -- what's your sense watching this every hour on the hour? robert. where the eye of the hurricane is trump and it's calmer from his perspective, a bunch of job seekers. show "the apprentice," you're in, you're fired. is it only chaos from the outside looking in? >> i think based on my reporting donald trump has not been involved in these heated sessions and meetings where this kind of dynamic has played out.
he has been receiving foreign office not at the table when some of this strife was sort of being exposed where you had people scratching names off lists for potential positions and jockeying for the jobs they want. has distance from this and a lot of the transition related names had not been presented to him based on my reporting that they were trying to assemble the list and this really kind of sort of crash landed in just recent days. apparatus, they just -- general flynn is very close to donald basically wanting to be the official advisor on all things national security. so i think donald trump has deg gait add lot to his children and his son-in-law is an extension
of that and trusts them and i think he is seeing there is contention and when you have the public face with jason miller or kellyanne conway projecting calm that's to be expected and they should try to pin the there's no question that there is a lack of clarity about jobs. for example, kellyanne conway, successful campaign manager, we don't know what role she would play. know what role they would play, we only know priebus and bannon having official appointments to a trump white house and so there's a vacuum and people have put time, effort, and ambition into this want to make sure they have a place. >> thing, kelly o'donnell, robert costa and eugene robinson. pick for secretary of state could come down to two hawk, i'll ask senator corker and also senator rand paul who has serious concerns about both bolton and giuliani.
the most consequential decision the incoming president will have to make is who will be secretary of state. the former u.s. ambassador to the united nations john bolton who has called for bombing iran. that's right. senator bob corker of tennessee, the chairman of the foreign relations committee who said he's in the mix for the job. then there's former new york mayor rudy giuliani, reportedly the front-runner. giuliani is making it clear he'd like the job. >> now you're being considered for important jobs, the one i hear most often is secretary of state. >> i have. >> can you tell us about them? >> they're between him and me. since i left mayor -- this is a rough estimate -- i've been in 80 countries with, 150 different foreign trips. i've been all over the world. >> i know you have close friends in israel. >> honorary knight hood from great britain.
>> prime minister netanyahu has been my friend -- personal friend for 25 years. i never go to israel without and i feel i can call him that, and i know the world. >> well, giuliani or bolton might face opposition from those who thought the iraq war was a disaster. would likely oppose either of those two gentlemen and he's joining us right now. great to have you on senator rand paul. i was one of those who thought you would win this whole thing and i was wrong. >> you were just a little bit off. >> i think the country is ready from freedom from big government in the right way. let me ask you about these two guys. one thing that -- let me get this straight. one thing that donald trump campaigned on was that he thought the iraq war was stupid, "stupid war" he used the frame. he didn't like regime change. he tackled hillary clinton for taking us into country after country supporting each war one after another, iraq, libya, syria.
naming john bolton, mr. neocon hawk as his secretary of state. how does that fit with you? sit with you? donald trump was that i liked the fact that he saw the iraq war as a mistake. he thought regime change was a mistake and the unintended consequences of regime change were basically that the world was less safe and that our national security was more endangered by regime change, so i like that about donald trump's campaign. him. that actually understands and has learned from the lessons of the middle east and i guess i worry that people like john bolton and, frankly, mayor giuliani, they have -- i would call them unrepenitent advocates for the iraq war. they don't seem to have learned anything the iraq war, they still defend it and both have advocated a bomb first ask questions later for iran and i don't think you want your chief
diplomat to be an advocate for war. they might be good for that position but i want someone realist, that sees the world as it is. that person may not agree with me but i want someone who is an even keel who thinks about things like that and i think bob corker would be a better choice. >> are you ready to filibuster these nominees? >> i feel pretty strongly about it and i will tell you something i haven't told anybody else. republican senators and i'm not the only one with misgivings over both giuliani and bolton. i haven't met a democrat for either one of them but i've met several republicans that aren't. we have a 52-48 majority. all it would take is two or three republicans saying they can't go along with giuliani orb bolton and i think you'd find there are some that i think would sail through. i think senator corker would go through. i've probably met 15 democrats
that said they would vote for his confirmation but they are very, very worried about bolton and giuliani. >> thank you so much, senator rand paul of kentucky. thank you. thank you. the "washington post" today trump presidency could mean to one of the most unstable regions in the world. the middle east is bracing for an incoming american president who seems intent on radically reordering the balance of power. trump will seek to bring about existing order in the middle east in favor of russia away from shiite iran and to the benefit of the sunni gulf states and turkey. during the campaign, donald trump outlined a foreign policy radically different from what most democrats and republicans have advocated. >> if putin wants to go and knock the hell out of isis, i am all for it 100% and i don't understand how anybody would be againsit. i've been looking at different players and watching assad and i've been good at this stuff over the years because deals are people and i'm looking at assad
saying maybe he's better than the kind of people we're supposed to be backing. now it's such a mess over there with everybody involved and the it's not that big an area. the airspace is limited so now what are we going to start world war iii over syria? >> joining me, senator bob corker of tennessee, chairman of the foreign relations committee and possible pick to be the next secretary of state. what do you make about what you've been hearing. trump says he's oppose to the iraq war, he supports russia in being our partner with syria. he opposes the nuclear deal with iran. those positions? >> syria has two efforts under way as i know you know well and one is the effort against isis but there's a whole other conflict under way and that's the civil war that's taking place between "moderate syrians" kurds and others against the assad regime so you have two efforts under way so i think we could, in fact, coordinate with
russia as it relates to isis but we're on different sides as it relates to the civil war taking much more complicated than just for me to just nantz a patent way as you well know. and the territory has gotten interwoven and overlapped and even if we deal with isis, if we exterminate isis, we still have this raging civil war that's the piece creating so much devastation to the population there and you can't really solve that by just dealing with the isis piece. most americans -- and generally pro-israeli and we know we need the oil still, despite this transition to the post fossil fuel era if it comes but we'd like to stay out of this complexity. shi'a. create a whole new par station where you give the shi'a shi'aland and sunnis sunniland,
the kurds their land, separate them all and hope like the britts did in south asia with the indians and pakistanis hope you could keep them apart. what is our goal then next ten years? >> well, it could be in syria and i think you're mentioning two different countries there, purposefully, i know. so in syria there has been a concentration of the regime in one area and it's possible over time that is an area that is partitioned. happen. when we return, let me finish today's trump watch. this is "hardball," the place 2016.
trump tower. one, like a roman emperor, he loves the glad or the y'all spectacle, he likes watching people fight it out for the emperor's thumb's up. ever watch "the apprentice"? what's the fun? it's watching the face of the contestant telling him or her they failed to make the grade "you're fired." now he's in trump tower listening to the police and for the cabinet post. does he go for the guy campaigning or for the candidate who could be signaling his people to dump on the other guy out there campaigning or fire both of the candidates by naming someone else all together difference? what else? what's this force? tower throwing people out the window telling anyone connected with governor chris christie you're dead. telling the anti-trump people not to bother pushing for jobs for people who were against trump tuesday night. is this death squad going to go into the white house house? is this mysterious murderous
force going to be prowling the halls of the west wing? this much we can figure. on a high floor in trump tower donald trump sits in the eye of the hurricane and says he's the only one who knows is on the final list for the top jobs. in other words, not even mike pence knows. not only does trump enjoy the glad or the y'all spectacle, he knows who's leading the death squad. do you think it might be him? that's "hardball." join us tomorrow night at 7:00 eastern. ♪when you've got...♪
>> tonight on "all in" -- >> the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. >> a week after winning, trump changes his tune. >> we'll get your taxes down. >> tonight as the plan to privatize medicare heats up, is donald trump already abandoning his populous campaign promises. >> he won, but i'm just making the point, you better take a look at what he won on. >> then meet the member of the trump transition team floating a registry for muslim immigrants. the real world implications of tweets from the world's most powerful man. >> when you give me a bad story, i have a method of fighting back. >> plus hillary clinton live within the hour when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. at this hour we are awaiting hillary clinton for her very first public appearance since her concession speech.
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