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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  December 20, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PST

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first family feud. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm joy reid in new york in tonight for chris matthews. once upon a time bill clinton and donald trump were friends -- or at least friendly. they golfed together, trump donate money to the clinton administration, he defended bill clinton in the press. bill and hillary were guests at trump's third wedding to melania. then came an election where donald trump attacked hillary clinton as crooked, dishonest, unstable, unhinged, a criminal, a nasty woman and, oh, yeah, the devil. he paraded out a series of women who accused bill clinton of abuse. yesterday it was announced that bill clinton and donald trump spoke by phone.
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clinton was surprised that trump acted cordial on the call like it was 15 years ago. for clinton, raw feelings remain. in reference to trump he recently told a local newspaper in westchester county with the he doesn't know much, one thing he does know is how to get angry white men to vote for him." this morning trump did what trump does, he hit back heating -- bill clinton stated i called him after the election. wrong. he called me after the elections. he doesn't know much, especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote on vital swing states and more. later today, clinton conceded he was the one to call trump after the election not the other way around. the question remains why is donald trump spending his first full day after officially becoming president-elect fighting with bill clinton on twitter. david cay johnson is the author of "the making of donald trump," robert costa is a reporter for the "washington post" and an msnbc political analyst and michael steele is the former chairman of the republican national committee and msnbc
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analyst. david cay johnson, you've been writing about this for a long time. why does trump trump? why can't he stop doing this? >> well, because to donald other people are simply items, and objects. they're not human beings. donald is entirely transactional. whatever gets donald what he wants, he will do. there's no more coral to donald trump. not paying bills, attacking somebody as terrible whom you said just recently was wonderful he's done this all his life. you can be his friend today, his enemy next week. it all depends on the moment. >> he thought nothing well of barack obama until barack obama was nice to him then he thought
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barack obama was great. inside of trump world, there's the rumors that there are two camps, there's bannon world, which still shocks me someone like bannon could be near the white house, but he is. and pence world. do either of those camps feel concerned about donald trump's inability to control himself? >> for now the relationship between the bannon camp and the previous camp, the populists and the mainstream, seems to be functional based on my reporting. they're contributing to discussions behind the scenes about cabinet picks but that dynamic will be challenged next year once trump assumes office and he has to deal with governing, not just picking personnel. >> are they worried he can't stop tweeting at people and getting into twitter beeves? >> one of the reasons another key player, vice president-elect mike pence, is well regarded within trump's circle is because he's not someone who pushes trump when it comes to the president-elect's behavior and one understanding sometimes
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implicit of those around trump is you don't push the president-elect to change how he uses social media. trump believes that's how he communicates with his base and even if it's erratic or against the norms he's unwilling to stop doing so. >> michael steele, in terms of the republican party which has complete control of the government, i think paul ryan assumes that means it will be a field day for paul ryan. who has more control of the agenda, paul ryan or donald trump or have they fused their agendas and both want to privatize medicare? >> i think robert's got his finger on it through his reporting that it's a battle to come. everybody is kumbaya around this or that appointment which in the long and short run doesn't mean that much. is so if you throw a trillion dollars on infrastructure, will paul ryan sign that? paul ryan says we want to address medicare and medicaid and the president doesn't, does the west wing balk at that?
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that's where the battle lines will be draw and whether it's the previous camp or bannon camp, however you want to identify them, the reality is the president will have to make some really tough early decisions and the question then becomes yes you have this team of rivals sort of milieu you've created around you, that may work in business. in government i'm really curious to see if that works because it's so personal, it's so much about turf and so much about a lot of things businessmen don't waste their time on that politicians do that you wonder if this administration starts hemorrhaging early or do they find that smooth slick space that they can then move through some big pieces of legislation out of the box. so that will be one of the big tests. >> i think since the trillion dollar infrastructure bill is tax cuts that will probably will be something paul ryan will like. today there's a report from
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the center for public integrity that a texas charity is offering access to the president-elect in return for a sizable donation. according to the report, trump's two sons, donald jr. and eric, are listed among the charity's directors. a brochure for the event lists the benefits donors get in exchange for a million dollars. they include a private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests with president donald j. trump and a multiday hunting and/or fishing exkergs for four guests with donald trump jr. and/or eric trump and team. in a statement this afternoon, a spokesperson for the trump transition said "the opening day event and details that have been reported are merely initial concerns that have not been approved or pursued by the trump family and trumps sons "are not involved in any capacity." a spokesperson for the event says the initial pro dur was a work in progress. the new brochure given to nbc today omits mention of meeting trump or his sons. robert costa, the "wall street journal" got ahold of and nbc
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news did as well the filing for the supposed foundation, the charity filed on december 14 and donald and eric trump are listed on it as directors. is there any conceivable way their two friends and colleagues could have listed them as directors without them having any idea? >> there's no doubt based on our reporting at the "washington post" that the trump family, specifically the sons, are involved with the charity, supporters of the charity, associated with the charity. the question in contention right now from the trump transition is whether they had any role in setting up this kind of charitable donation for access arrangement. there's been that denial that's been issued. but it's one of these murky territories the trump organization and ss specially the family is encountering moving from the private to the public sector. they'll probably need a lawyer with them, each and every step of the way. >> david cay johnson, them just saying that -- the only fact we have on the table is the filing
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for the foundation with those two trump sons' name on it so i don't understand how them saying "we didn't do it" gets them out of hot water here. >> this is a tactic you'll see throughout the trump presidency. when i saw this initially i thought oh, this is from the onion, it can't be true, even the trumps are not that crass and then i ran down the documents about it. what you're seeing here now is well, we were just discussing this well, why were you even discussing something like that? particularly when donald trump complaining about what he called pay for play. this is blatantly pay for play and it is part of donald trump's utter contempt that he expressed throughout the campaign for constitutional government. if you could get donald trump on your show and ask him what does the second article of the constitution say, he wouldn't be able to tell you. >> throughout the campaign, to
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your very point, david cay johnson, donald trump attack clinton foundation for hillary clinton selling access to the state department. >> the veil was pulled back on a vast criminal enterprise run out of the state department by hillary clinton. more than half of the meetings hillary clinton took as secretary of state with people outside government were clinton foundation donors. favors and access were granted to those who wrote checks. she put the secretary of state up for sale. hillary is the one who engaged in a corrupt pay for play scheme at the state department. we're going to end government corruption. hillary clinton ran the state department like a failed leader in a third world country. she sold favors and access in exchange for cash. >> michael steele, if irony
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still has a meaning, that was it. it's heart to believe donald trump could say that a couple months ago and literally have these things happening -- are there any consequences for anything him? does reality exist anymore? >> i think that's going to be to the points that were already made the new reality for washington and people who track this stuff. particularly in the press. the press corps is going to have a field day writing about this stuff but how it resonates with voters will be the test of time. does it accumulate in such a way that people go, you know, we do have a problem with this. you said at one point this was what hillary clinton did but now you're doing the same thing or something similar and it doesn't right now seem to matter to a lot of people but there are some big red flags here. i think robert costa had it right that they'll need a lot of lawyers to deal with this and it would not surprise me if you see
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someone bring some type of action to force some of this to a head for the congress or somebody to respond because i don't see how you can set up these types of operations long term, joy, and not have a consequence come from them, whether it's a global one as we've seen potentially with russia for for example or something closer to the home like with the foundation. >> just the perceptions but is out there among foreign leaders that they can buy access to the white house by giving to the trump's sons' foundation. it's troubling. one of the other things i find troubling, donald trump's incoming national security advisor michael flynn, he's been a lightning rod for his comments about islam and his affinity for vladimir putin and conspiracy theories. today the "new york times" reports he met a far right group from austria. according to the "times," the leader of the austrian far-right freedom party visited general flynn a few weeks ago inside trump tower in new york.
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the freedom party was founded in the 1950s by former nazis. hmm robert costa, we've talked about this before, the bannon wing of -- what is now the bannon wing of the republican party and its affinity for this ethnonationalism, far right christian nationalist parties, now that you have being brought right into trump tower. at some point is there a reckoning for people like bannon and flynn? particularly for flynn? >> throughout the campaign we saw trump and bannon associate the trump campaign with this global populism, the visits from nigel farrage. you see the trump campaign trying to engage with that world but there are consequences moving into elected office and to the presidency. to associate with heads of foreign parties that aren't in power and it could have
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complicated and controversial associations. it's territory incoming presidents don't wade into but trump because of who he is and flynn who flynn is, they do it. >> thank you david kay john son, robert costa, and michael steel. up next, first lady michelle obama says she will not run for office. that and more with the "hardball" round table. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics.
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>> the challenges? yeah, there are times that frustrated me. this past election was challenging for me as a citizen to watch and experience. it was painful. if we want maturity, we have to be mature. if we want a nation that feels hopeful, then we have to speak in hopeful terms, we have to
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show love and empathy. if we want smart leaders then we have to be smart voters. we cannot vote from a place of fear. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was first lady michelle obama in a rare and candid interview with oprah winfrey tacking about the pain she felt over november's election. the first lady also answered the one question on the minds of so many democrats since her lauded speech at the democratic national convention in philadelphia last summer in a series of inspirational campaign speeches afterward. >> would you ever run for office. i have to ask it? >> no. no. >> no kind of office. >> no. look, that's one thing i don't. do i don't make stuff up, i'm not coy. i have proven that. if i were interested in that, i'd say it. >> let's bring in the round table, elise jordan, a republican strategist and msnbc political analyst. basil smikle is a democratic strategist and catherine rampell is an opinion writer with the "washington post."
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i get very wistful. what planet are the obamas from that they can always be so calm and classy. what did you make of her? >> i thought it was disappointing she said she wasn't going to run for office. out of everyone on the scene this year, her speeches were incredible and had the most memorable take away lines in a way you may not remember a line from donald trump's speeches, you may not remember a line from hillary clinton but you do from michelle obama. >> wrong. with i remember that line. wrong. but anyone who's covered michelle obama knows she's not a huge fan of politics. the fact she gave those speeches was surprising because she's not a naturally -- she doesn't enjoy campaigning. >> she's verial vented at it. she's very engaging and thoughtful and charismatic but she doesn't seem to take pleasure in it. it's something she does because she believes in the cause and not necessarily because she wants to be in office. i take her at her word when she
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says she has no interest. >> i would be shocked if she ran for office but basil she is good at getting in the low key shade. she says we have to be mature if we want maturity. we have to be smart if we want smart politics. who do you think that was a message to? >> oh, to donald trump absolutely. michelle obama unfiltered is the business. that is -- i love this and i don't think she's going to run for office, i don't know if i wish she would but what i do want her to do is be that constant voice out there for democrats going forward. one of the things i was most concerned about in in election was whether or not african-americans broadly but certainly african-american women would come out and be supportive and be energized and engaged and she was a big part of that and i'm glad to see she's doing it. but this was certainly a message to donald trump and if she is the only one out there needling him in the near future we are all better off for it. >> besides "when they go low, we
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go high" which is one of the memorable lines, one of the other memorable things mrs. obama said was i think she spoke for so many women when she talked about the visceral reaction to that "access hollywood" video, to those words and accusations of abuse. what do we do with a politics where that does not stop you from being president? what do women do with that? >> i think what she did is still so necessary. she spoke with passion and conviction about why it was wrong and you could tell she was coming from a place of moral certitude and it showed in the remarks and why it resonated on both sides of the aisle, democrats and republican women because she was no forceful in knowing what her truth was when she was speaking. >> yet, catherine rampell, it didn't affect the election at all. you had -- donald trump won the majority of white women, women of color voted overwhelmingly for hillary clinton but in the end for all of the bipartisan support for the first lady's empathy and her dignity, it doesn't seem that that any more translates into politics.
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>> well, yes and no. i think that there were a lot of women who said all men are bores and boys will be boys and i wish that were not the attitude but a lot of women dismissed those comments for that reason, that the locker room talk explanation resonated. >> the round table staying with us. up next, these three will tell me something i don't know. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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elise, tell me something i don't know. >> check out a "vanity fair" story that talks about the missing footage from "the apprentice" that contains the most incendiary donald trump said that a bunch of editors in l.a. put together as a gag because they thought hillary clinton was going to win and they refuse to release it because they didn't want to lose their jobs and that is still lurking in the atmosphere. >> yeah, and wikileaks has no interest in getting. surprise surprise. >> or they might already have it. >> but it would hurt trump, they won't release it. basil?
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>> lest we forget about the important issues discussed by hillary clinton and bernie sanders, student debt. a article talks about folks over 50 who are in student debt, if the government is taking money out of your social security check, there are seniors in poverty because of that. >> catherine, quickly. >> trump and his new omb pick may not see eye to eye on deficits. one of them wants to close them and one wants too balloon them there is one thing on which they agree which is that they are both cool with defaulting on federal debt. >> thank you very much elise, basil, catherine, that's "hardball" for now. we'll be back tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. eastern. see you then.
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tonight on all in. >> there are leaders in congress hose did not support his presidency, which was not something that was good for the country. >> after eight years of obstructing president obama, it's now 31 days until president
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trump. >> it's over. you lost. quit chinaing. >> tonight starks the debate whether democrats should follow it the republican playbook back to the white house. plus, new questions about whether the trump kids are already selling access to their father. >> it's called pay for play. >> senator chris murphy on new concerns about trump ties to hard right austrian nationalists. labor secretary tom perez in his first interview since announcing a run to lead the democrats and why mobile, alabama, is apologizing so donald trump can say merry christmas in front of a 50-foot tree. >> wishing you a very merry christmas. merry christmas. when "all in" starts right now. good evening new york. i'm chris hayes. the rekouns are over, the electoral college shas spoken. in 31 days, donald trump will become the president of the united states. republicans have a message for