tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 8, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
right here at 6:00 p.m. eastern. if you can't watch live set your dvr and follow me live on facebook at greta. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. get ready, a big vote tonight. we may have an attorney general very soon. court drama. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. debate on "hardball" tonight, who guards the door, which office of the american government decides how to protect this country? who decides where the danger lies and how to guard us? what constitutional limits stand in the way of that decision-making? and finally, who do we blame when that essential accountability fails us? tonight, we debate those questions. even as the united states senate begins to vote on the confirmation of alabama senator jeff sessions for attorney general.
we'll show you the ballots on the senate floor after the brutal silencing laugh night of senator elizabeth warren. the decision s by the judges of the ninth circuit which may come later this week could test the limitations of presidential authority and expected to be ultimately be appealed to the united states supreme court. today president trump defended his authority and attacked the judges who will render that decision as well as the court system, itself. >> i listen to lawyers on both sides last night, and they were talks about things that had just nothing to do with it. i listened to a panel of judges and i'll comment on that -- i will not comment on the statements made by certainly one judge, but vi have to be honest that if these judges wanted to, in my opinion, help the court in terms of respect for the court, they'd do what they should be doing. i mean, it's so sad. we haven't had a decision yet,
but courts seem to be so political. >> why does this president make is so hard to agree with him? anyway, i'm joined by noah purclepurcl er purc purc purcle purcell, as well as harvard law professor allen dershowitz. i was watching last night, as we all were, listening, to the arguments of the ninth circuit. it sounded like a meeting of the national security council. they're talking about policy. talking about whether threats, whether they really came from those zempb kseven countries or. tell me what role a discussion over policy or the merits of certain policies have to do with a court, appellate decision on whether there should be a -- they should overturn a restraining order or not? >> well, first of all, a solicitor general of washington did a great job and i want to commend him. his opponent did not do a good job. and he started by talking about the policies instead of talking about standing which was a
strong point. so he invited the discussion by the court as to who has the ultimate responsibility for keeping america safe. and the answer, we have a division of authority, we have a separation of powers. we're the only country in the world withhere the you disjudic equal to the presidency. of course the judiciary has a role to play in balancing the need to keep us safe against constitutional violations such as those alleged by the state of washington. so i think the justices will eventually decide this case, but the judges yesterday focused on the right issues, on standing, whether the washington state has standing, on whether the injunction should be rescinded. i think the injunction won't be rescinded. i think the solicitor general is going to have an uphill fight when it comes to the supreme court on the mares merits of t because i don't think he's persuasive when it comes to making an establishment case, an
establishment clause argument. >> how do you know, mr. purcell, how the president came to this decision to issue ordthis order? how do you know he didn't it for the most political reasons, i promised to people who voted for me i'd do some kind of ban, i'm going to do something like this. i don't think we're going to only face dangers from those sempb k seven countries. we might. this will get me through the night. how do you know it wasn't intended to stop muslims from coming into country due to their religion? how do you know his mind? if it's not written in the order. >> it's common to look behind the state of motives for a governmental action. the same action can be constitutional or not depending on what motivated it. for example, if a city passed an ordinance saying you have to shovel your sidewalks on saturday mornings, that might be perfectly fine but if the reason they did it was to block orthodox jews from living in city or discriminate them, then it's not fine and it's unconstitutional. here it's an incredible amount of evidence that the president was motivated at least in part
by a desire to discriminate against muslims so what we're saying is -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> let me give you a case, then, to see if you can distinguish that. 1944, congress passed the war refugee act which was purposely designed to protect jews who were victims of the holocaust and everybody said it was about jews. would that constitute a statement that judaism was the established religion of the united states? how would you answer that question if it was put to -- >> chris, i'll have to think about that. it hasn't been asked to me yet. the point is the law is very clear that the federal government cannot consciously choose to favor one religion or another. the federal government-de dease persecuted around the world.
even on religious grounds. it cannot say we're going to help people who are persecuted because they're christian and not help people who are persecuted because their muslim. >> the american people saw a candidate, trump, who could be quite nimble, the three of us know how nimble he can be. shifted from saying it was going it be a muslim ban, unconstitutional, to say it was going to be a ban of a country or origin or where people are coming from. i go back to the case of pr president obama signed, those seven countries determined to be insufficient in their vetting procedures. there's no way to know what they were letting go on in their countries, themselves. there was a ban on people who had gone through those countries or at least more serious vetting procedure. they wouldn't get visas automatically for ending up going through europe. question is if that was close enough -- suppose obama had issued this executive didn't th bill was strong enough, i'm going to go ahead with an executive order on the same countries. would you have the same suspicion the president of the united states had religion in mind to punish a religion? would you have that same suspicion of president obama or
president clinton? >> a couple of points s about that, chris. first of all, what was in place before, what congress passed and what president obama implemented was nothing remotely like this, was not a ban of people traveling from those countries. >> it was a denial of visas. >> it was -- they did not get a waiver from the normal -- >> right. >> -- visa requirement. second, as i was saying before, you do have to look at motives. the exact same policy, and the supreme court had been very clear about this, i'm sure professor dershowitz would agree, the exact same policy can be constitutional or not depending upon what motivated it. if the motive was to argumetarg people based on their religion, it's unconstitutional and that's what we're alleging here. >> the supreme court also said if there is a good secular purpose, secular motive, don't you think even when trump -- i don't defend him, i don't like this mollpolicy at all. i hope you win the case. >> thank you. >> don't you think when he said muslim ban he had in mind a ban against people who would bring terrorism to the country? he doesn't really care about punishing muslims. if he did, he would extend the
ban to 25 or 30 muslim countries. he focused on the muslim countries that he thought risked islamic terrism. remember, the difference between the obama administration and trump is obama wouldn't use the term islamic extremism or islamic radicalism or islamic terrorism. trump uses that term and that's his right. he was elected president. isn't he entitled to implement that policy by saying it is -- that we're focusing on and, therefore, it's no accident that we're focusing on seven countries that are muslim. we're not including armenia or israel or any other country, by the way, if he did include armenia or israel, would you say that solved the problem because here you have a christian country and a jewish country as well? >> well, chris, let me -- if i can go back to your first question, i mean, i do think we have raised very serious questions about whether security was really what motivated the president in issuing this order. if it was really about national security, one of the points we've been making our case, why
didn't they figure out before they issued it whether it applied to half a million people who are already here on green cards from these seven countries. >> >>? if those people are a threat, those are half a million people who are already here. the white house hadn't made up their mind before they -- >> i'm not an attorney but let me ask you the problem. this comes down to human ability, our ability to read minds. used to have guys like dunninger who go around audiences. >> i remember that. >> would go around, say i know what's in your mind. we found out those were cons. nobody can read somebody else's mind. studying politics 40, 50 years, i thought you can't tell what's in a politicians' mind because there's always a mix of things, always self-interest, almost always. some kind of grander interest. some kind of doing the job they were elected to do or wanted to have the job. it's always a mix of things. how do you know this is a ban -- purposely an anti-muslim ban when knowing trump like we all know, his show business is so much stronger than his depth, always bigger in when he's
trying to sell than what he's thinking. he wasn't against the iraq war. he said he was because that works. you really think he's pro-life? he says he is. it works. could it be if you followed a pattern of his behavior, not what he said, what rudy giuliani said, what he said before, follow how trump works. it's what will work. that's what he does. could it be he's doing this to get through the night? going to do some kind of ban, my people up in erie, pennsylvania, youngstown, ohio, were counting on him to do something, so i'm going to do something. of course i'm not just worried about those seven countries. the guys who attacked us on 99 /11, egypt with the brains and the thug s came from saudi arabia. it could be it's just another day in politics for donald trump and how do you know that's not true or the other is strew ortr doesn't like muslims? how do you discreetly think through all that and come out and say i'm a judge, i'm going to tell you what he was
thinking. i don't know the answer to that, do you? how do you know what anybody elis thinking? >> i can't read the president's mind. what i can cite is the things he said publicly which it provides a shocking amount of evidence really right off the bat of how this was intended. and our argument at this point, remember, you know, for those who aren't lawyers, normally you don't have to prove discriminatory motive until later in the case after you've had a chance to get evidence and that sort of thing. one of the points i was making yesterday was that there's already a rather stunning amount of evidence that this was intended to target muslims before we've even had any opportunity to look at anything like, you know, e-mails between giuliani and the president's staff or conversations that happened between people about the goals. i do think, agn, the fact that this was done in such an irregular way, at it s not requested by the national security agencies, it was barely if at all reviewed by then, there's a lot of -- >> that's where my head was going, that it was political. i'm sorry, you've been a great guest and you're doing great
public service. i want to get back to professor dershowitz. you said you're rooting for mr. purce wil purcell, explain, unpack that if you can. >> i think the policy is terrible. i think the president should rescind it, go back to the drawing board, do exactly what mr. purcell said, go through the national security council, consult with his new attorney general and draft a rule that would pass constitutional muster. i don't like this law. so i hope he wins, but on constitutional grounds, i think he has a weak case on establishment clause. and if you're asking -- oliver wendell holmes once said the job of a lawyer is to predict what the courts dwoil in fa s will d. i predict he will win the early rounds and may win in the ninth circuit because the ninth circuit has judges who are both liberal and conservative. when it comes to the supreme court, it's going to be a very, very hard sell on the establishment clause particularly. there's going to be a difference between people in the country,
green cards certainly, people in the country legitimately, and the family from yemen who have never been in the country, they just apply for a visa, they want to come in, they have no constitutional right. and i think the state of washington will have a hard time proving that they have standing to assert the right of the family in yemen to come into the country for the first time. so, yeah, i hope he wins, but i'm not sure he's going to. >> okay. thank you so much. noah purcell. allen dershowitz. thank you so much for your brains. anyway. we continue to watch the ongoing vote in the united states senate to confirm senator jeff sessions of alabama to be the next attorney general. that vote coming after an unprecedented day, unplus de of protests on the floor of the senate as republican majority leader silences senator elizabeth warren for reading a let r by dr. martin luther king's widow. we'll have an exclusive interview with tim kaine coming up, the 2016 vice presidential candidate, when we return. this is "hardball," where the action is. your insurance company won't replace
welcome back to "hardball." we continue to watch the united states senate, right now holding a confirmation vote on alabama senator jeff sessions for attorney general. earlier this evening, senator tim kaine of virginia delivered an impassioned speech opposing this confirmation. doing so, senator kaine told the story of richard and mildred loving, the couple jailed in 1959 when interracial marriage was illegal. here's senator kaine. >> 1r50 years ago the supreme court struck down interracial marriage in this country, but mr. president, the case started with a couple who having nowhere else to turn thought if we write the attorney general, surely he will be a champion for us and he will help us redress this horrible wrong. that's who the attorney general needs to be. >> i'm joined right now by
senator tim kaine of virginia. of course, i love the fact you went back to bobby kennedy. i can't think of a better person -- >> i thought you would, chris. >> yeah. let me ask you about the -- i salute for you that especially since you represent the commonwealth of virginia. >> right. >> that movie is a great movie, actually called "loving" and it's about loving, actually, not just a family name. let me ask you about this charge from elizabeth warren and, of course, it was initially made by ted kennedy and it was made by coretta scott king. is it fair to judge a person's soul or their conscience, whatever you want to call it, their being, by who they were 30 years ago? 31 years ago? is that fair? greta van susteren before the show brought it up, she offered it as a rhetorical question. i offer it again to you. is it fair? >> chris, if you don't have any oaf oa other evidence, i'm not sure that's completely fair. it would make you ask questions but it would not be completely fair. in my speech on the floor, and look, senator sessions and i, we know each other. i'm a friend.
we have gone on codells together. i don't think he should be attorney general because his voting record in the senate, even recently, suggests he's not going to be a champion for civil rights. so i'm not making a judgment about his character -- >> let's go to bobby -- >> -- but i'm making a judgment about whether he can be a champion. >> let's go to the bobby kennedy -- if he gets a letter tomorrow morning when he's attorney general from an african-american man or woman, 80 years old, say i don't have a driver's license, one thing i want to do is go to the score when i want to go to the store, vote easily. are you going to help me? do you think jeff sessions will help that person? >> i don't have the confidence that someone writing e ining inn voting rights or immigrant writing in worried about being deported. i don't think they'll feel confidence. in fact, i don't think they'll write in. the attorney general needs to be seen as a champion for civil
rights and that's not been senator sessions' record on lgbt equality, on voting rights, on special education. people won't see him as that champion that they saw bobby kennedy and others and that was one of the reasons i decided to oppose him. >> we've had people who have risen up from their roots, may come from a part of the country that was segregated, people like that, klan members, bobmembers. bobby byrd. have risen above the local thinking, parochial thinking. you don't think mr. sessions is capable of that? the deep south. he's not able to transcend that and become a true american lawkeeper? >> chris, i haven't seen the evidence. here's an example. just a couple years ago the supreme court struck down a big chunk of the voting rights act. >> i know. section 5. >> he said that was good news. and when we tried to put together efforts to fix the voting rights act, fix the problem that the court said was a problem, there's an easy fix. he's not been engaged in that. i'm with him on the armed
services committee. we had a bill to ban torture by any agency of the united states government that got support from more than three-quarters of the senators, very bipartisan. this was a year ago. jeff sessions was one of the handful of people who would not sign on to a torture ban. i don't want an attorney general serving with a president who says he thinks torture is okay, who thinks torture may be fine. an attorney general needs to be a check, independent check against an overreaching executive especially in this case. i just don't see senator sessions as being able to do that. >> how's it going for you and secretary clinton thesedays? i mean, we think about you. i do once in a while. i wonder because i think you did a good job running and, you know, the zeitgeist wasn't quite right. had more to do with the zeitgeist than anything else. the mood of the country was -- what is your feeling about the whole election? >> it seems kind of surreal, chris. i wake up some mornings and it seems like the campaign was a dream and i wake up other mornings and thinking i might be
living through some alternate reality now. so it was a -- >> this is the reality, senator. this is -- i got to -- by the way, we just got the word, 51 senators, majority, just voted for -- will you be able to work with him? >> oh, absolutely. i'll be able to work with him. but look, i just -- you know, for this variety of reasons, i'll go back to the other question, though, for me, the best thing was to go right back to work. like you, i'm a religious person. things happen for a reason. even if you can't figure it out. but the one thing i know is i'm supposed to be in the senate. and i think the trump presidency is going to be a very important test of all the checks and balances in our system. of a senate with power even in minority. of the power of the press. of the ability to peacefully protest. of the power of the article 3 branch of the courts. every check is going to be tested. and i think the system's going to be vindicated because the checks are going to work. but we're going to have to work hard at it every day. >> well, as a fellow -- i tell you something from outside our normal conversation at church, this is from a rabbi. i give this to people who are
going through a hard time. he who gave me burdens also gave me shoulders. i love that. >> yeah, that's a great -- that is a great -- >> we can handle what's thrown at us. thank you so much. >> it's great to have good work to come back to. thanks, chris. >> you're lucky to be where you are. we are, too. thank you, tim kaine from the commonwealth of virginia. much more coming up on the hot, hot dispute over senator elizabeth warren. we're going to get into that situation, how it's energizing a lot of people. women especially. not just women. this is sort of like the -- what do you call it, this is the lighting fluid to the democratic base i think. it's going to light them up. we'll be right back. a meeting? it's a big one. too bad. we are double booked: diarrhea and abdominal pain. why don't you start without me? oh. yeah. if you're living with frequent, unpredictable diarrhea and abdominal pain, you may have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, or ibs-d. a condition that can be really frustrating. talk to your doctor about viberzi,
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welcome back to "hardball." democrats today challenged senator mitch mcconnell and republicans in the senate after they voted last night to silence, isn't that a word, silence senator elizabeth warren, the massachusetts senator was reading a letter at the time from coretta scott ng, of course, the widow of dr. martin luther king.
the leather condemned jeff sessions, then the u.s. attorney for the southern district for alabama, for using what she said was, "the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens." anyway, a few minutes after senator warren read from that letter, the following scene played out. let's watch it. >> they are mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, sons and brothers. >> mr. president -- >> they are -- >> mr. president. >> the majority leader. >> senator impugn the motives and conduct of our colleague from alabama as warned by the chair. said, "senator sessions has used the awesome power of the office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens." i call the senator to order under the provisions of rule 19. >> mr. president, i am surprised that the words of coretta scott king are not suitable for debate in the united states senate. i ask leave of the senate to
continue my remarks. >> is there objection? >> object. >> i appeal the ruling -- >> objection is heard. the senator will take her seat. >> the senator will take her seat. well, those words are going to be rumored -- that rarely used provision, by the way, rule 19 said senator chance not, quote, impu to another senator any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming. here's how senator mcconnell defended his action. >> senator warren was giving a lengthy speech. she had appeared to violate the rule. she was warned. she was given an explanation. nevertheless, she persisted. >> today senator warren said she didn't think she was violating the rules of the senate. here she is.
>> this is coretta scott king talking about the facts as she saw them, that he used -- he, jeff sessions, used his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens. she's not calling names. she's just describing what happened. >> do you think it -- >> the facts may her, but we're not in the united states senate to ignore facts. >> i'm joined right now by senator jack reed of rhode island. thausk y thank you for coming on. looks like the argument whether jeff sessions is attorney general is over. he now is attorney general. he's been confirmed by a majority of the senate voting. what do you make of the argument of rule 19 and elizabeth warren? >> republicans made a mistake to silence elizabeth warren. americans are aware of coretta scott king's letter. shwas reading a historic document by an icon o the civil
rights movement describing the behaviors that she observed so i think it was a vast extension, attempt to -- all the senators were allowed to read the same letter. i think there was a grave mistake made. >> what do you make of that letter, the influence on hr thinking? you may have already decided but do you think that letter is condemnatory? what would you say about that letter from mrs. king all those years ago? 31 years ago. >> i think what the letter describes was coretta scott king's view of senator sessions based upon her experience, her knowledge. i think it was sincere. it is more than 20 years old, perhaps close to 30 years old. but i think it was written with, you know, a meaningful and sincere intent by mrs. king. >> how do you think this is going to hurt or help your colleague from massachusetts?
i would think this is the best thing. you know, however it happened, it seems to me mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, has given her the most national attention in a positive way she could ever get. i don't think anybody is holding against her what she said in quoting mrs. king's letter, in fact, they're saluting herb f i it. on the other hand, people are going to rally to her and say she has punspunk, the stuff we' looking for on the democratic side. >> you're exactly right. showed not only great eloquence but great determination. she didn't want to be seated in silence. she wanted to participate in the debate in the senate. i think she also viewed she was reading a historical record, not making a deliberate personal attack against any other senator. >> thank you so much. honor to have you on, sir, senator reed of rhode island. anyway, there was strong reaction to senator warren's speech last night and senator
mcconnell's rebuke of her. isn't that a nice big liblical ? rebuke. etch even hillary clinton weighed. "she was warned, given an explanation, nevertheless, she persisted." clinted added in her own words "so must we all." i'm joined by "washington post's" robert costa. both are mns mns political snbc analysts. what was your reaction to this whole thing? first of all, personally, what it meant to you as a womb, an, citizen and what do you think the political fallout is? >> i thought elizabeth warren could not have done anything on her own to have helped herself as much as mitch mcconnell just helped her. he gave her a massive platform both in terms of her own favorability and personal brand. elizabeth warren up until now had kind of been a little l bbi more silent compared to winn wh snappers that have been trying to harness the progressive energy. it became a trigger point, some
of the key bloof the base, bothr african-americans, they felt like he wasn't just silencing her, he was silencing coretta scott king, words of her and also women. it became a flashpoint for women who saw in that a form of bullying. chris, i went on twitter an some of the male trump voters who often troll journalists were using the word, shrill, and words that came up also around clinton -- >> she wasn't shrill. let me ask you about women, generally growing up, in school, i'm sure you've been through this. you're a different generation than me. the boys do all the talking. the girls are much more reserved about this. is it that primordial? i think it is. >> if you recall, that became a flashpoint as well during the campaign with hillary clinton being shushed. >> who did that? >> i think it was during a debate. might have even been -- i think
it may have been sanders. it was sanders, yeah, actually. that became something that then helped her with women again. i think, yeah, that that brought back a lot of memories maybe for a certain generation of women who feel like if they are speaking in a certain tone or too aggressively, that it is somehow seen as shrill or -- >> yeah, i know. >> -- not pleasant for males who may be trying to assert themselves in the same way. that definitely was something hillary clinton expressed during the campaign was that when she felt like when she raised herb voi voice and tried to be impassioned about something, it was viewed differently than when her male counterparts did the same thing. you can see how she adjusted her language after the initial debate when that happened. >> thank you. let me go to robert costa. this -- you know, this is stupid politics by mitch mcconnell, i think. unless they want -- let's be
political here for a second, not in terms of bad manners or whatever, male/female relations, whatever, could it be that old mr. wise old al mitch mcconnell wants the democratic progressive left to take over the party because he thinks it's easier to beat in kentucky when the next election is held there? he wants the party to sweep over to the progressive side with senator warren leading the band? >> that would be a long-term chess play. i think this was an important political moment for the left. for democrats, chris, who saw in 2016 african-american voters across the country in many of these swing states that did not turn out in the traditional numbers along the obama coalition and now you see the democrats not just going after economicssues with people like senator warren but going after the racial issues surrounding the trump presidency. >> and how does that fit with elizabeth warren? the racial -- because she was quoting from coretta king. >> well, she's bringing up the racial issues that surround some of these nominees. >> right. >> the one thing that haunts
sessions is the 1986 confirmation hearing he had for another judicial post. this is something that beyond the populism and nationalism that sessions represents, he represents also in democrats' minds this racially charged element of the republican matter and as they look to 2018 and 2020, they need to rebuild their coalition and part of that rebuilding is getting voters on the left active on these issues again, reminded about the importance of these issues as these confirmations come through. >> well, both questions, i'll start with you, i'm going to go to you, robert, why is trump, the president, why is he jumping on these judges before they rule? he just wants to antagonize these guys. >> he's been doing this, though, throughout the campaign. it started -- i see it as not just judges, chris, anybody who gets kind of in his craw. you know? the media, the judges, any institution. the cia. that gets in his craw. >> well anyway, i'll leave it at
that. quickly, robert, you've been following this guy like a bird dog. why does he make it hard to agree with him? the buck stops on that desk. agree wh that principle with a lot of latitude. here he is talking trash talk to the judges. i find it hard to say, oh, yeah, you're right, keep it up, buddy. >> it's hard to say -- because everything for president trump is a fight. you look at his entire career. real estate, television, the tabloids. he relishes a public fight and it's about the negotiation in the public sphere. that's what's it's all about. >> frank sinatra all over again. thank you. up next, president trump's once again attacking judges. this time the three-judge panel on that ninth circuit court of appeals that is actually weighing right now whether to reinstate his travel ban. it comes as trump continues to paint a dark and many people think a scary picture of the world. a fear appropriate, if not to actual reality, certainly appropriate to his agenda. what he wants.
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welcomback to "hardball." today, president trumplasted the appeals court judges who are reviewing a lower court challenge to his travel ban. i've been talking about that. i don't know why he's doing it. trump, however, did question the motives of the judges in advance of their actually ruling. >> i watched last night in amazement and i heard things that i couldn't believe. things that really had nothing to do with what i just read. and i don't ever want to call a
court biased, so i won't call it biased. we haven't had a decision yet. but courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what's right. right now, we are at risk because of what happened. i listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful. it was disgraceful. >> president trump also tweeted this morning that "if the u.s. does not win this case, as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. politics." that's how he ended it. never. this afternoon, democratic senator richard blumenthal from connecticut, of course, met with supreme court nominee neil gorsh. here's what he said gorsuch had to say about the president's comments on the judiciary.
>> he certainly expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralizing and abhorrent comments made by president trump about the judiciary. >> well a spokesman for gorsuch, himself, confirms the nominee did use the words disheartening and demoralizing in regards to what it was doing to judiciary from trump's comments. joining me, angus king, independent from the state of maine. senator king, what do you make of this, because it's not hearsay, apparently we now know gorsuch's people have said, yes, that's what he's said. he's demoralized. e believes it demoralizes the judiciary to be told they're prejudice by the president of the united states. that's what drutrump basically said. >> if i had a client who was going to bad mouth the judge while the judge was still considering the case, that in itself makes t s no sense. the deeper problem is just a lack of deep understanding or any understanding of the
constitution and the separation of powers to deliberately, and i think it clearly was deliberate, he said it, to try to delegitimize an independent co-equal branch of government in doing their job and talk about you didn't play the clip where he said any high school student would know what the right answer is here. it just -- it's overstepping the bounds. i mean, it -- as you can tell, m kind of speechl it really is extraordinary and it undermines the whole system. he's preparing a way for people to say, oh, yeah, political judges and all that. these are people appointed by jimmy carter, george w. bush and barack obama. that's the essence of our system, division of power. there has to be some respect to the system, it seems to me. >> senator king, we have no time tonight. it's a busy night. thank you for coming on from maine. independent voice. >> absolutely. up next, the democratic resistance may have turned a corner after what happened in the senate overnight.
will progressives use it to build a movement? what happened to elizabeth warren against trumpism. could she be the new champion of the resistance, if you will? the "hardball" roundtable is coming here next. you're watching "hardball," where action is. did you know 90% of couples disagree on mattress firmness? enter sleep number... she likes the bed soft. he's more hardcore. you can both adjust the bed for the best sleep of your life. right now, save 50% on the ultimate limited edition bed. go to sleepnumber.com for a store near you.
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welcome back to "hardball." as republicans, i love this word, it's very biblical, rebuked senator elizabeth warren, her democratic allies rallied around her by reading coretta scott king's letter again and again without objection from the other side. >> anyone who has used the power of his office, his united states attorney, to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. >> mr. sessions' conduct as u.s. attorney from his politically motivated voting fraud prosecutions, to his indifference toward criminal violations of civil rights laws, indicates that he lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge. >> for this representable
conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship. >> well, democratic criticism of senator sessions was then seen as purely political. listen to the rest. >> charges that she was making against jeff sessions are demonstrably false. they're slanderous. they're ugly. and it's one of the crutches -- you know, when the left doesn't have any other arguments, they go and accuse everyone of being a racist. >> his unpleasantness, that guy, ted cruz, is immeasurable. the latest clash of one of the president's cabinet picks, grassroots opposition continues to grow. i'm joined by our round table, david avella, republican consultant, chairman of gopac! have to say it with the exclamation point. michelle bernard, re-elected again. and jonathan, writer for "new york" magazine, author of a great book "audacity: how barack obama devefied his critics and created a legacy that will
prevail." who won, who lost with mcconnell, mitch mcconnell rebuking elizabeth warren? who won nthat fight? >> mcconnell, keeping the vote going for session tonight. elizabeth warren wins because her e-mail list is bigger, her fund-raising has more money in her account. >> who was right? who was right? >> elizabeth warren. >> okay. tell me why. >> absolutely, elizabeth warren wins and the country wins because her -- just the appearance of the way he spoke to her and what he said and then you turn on the television this morning, and you see male pundit after pundit saying it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman, it doesn't matter, it's just that his constituents don't like her. it does matter. >> how do they know? i go into this thing with dunninger, this thing about reading minds. judges tell me they can read trump's mind. >> you can't read anyone's mind but there's something you learn in the law that it is not just -- >> i agree. >> you can't always tell intent but if tsh. >> i agree with you.
michelle, would never said ted kennedy -- they would have never told him to shut up when he was talking. >> michelle brings up that men came out and was critical of elizabeth warren and she read mrs. king's letter. let me read you his niece's comment. "it's almost like a bait and switch. stir up the emotions in the name of king and my name is alvita ki king" and play the race card which she's attempting to do. >> i want to ask you if you can justify the senate rule. i understand why they have a rule, you can't criticize anoth another senator. when the senator is the nominee, you have rules you can't criticize the person you're debating? isn't that insane? >> that is the rule. >> think about everyone else who has been criticized. >> really -- >> just pick out one -- >> look at a lot of senate rules and maybe think they are absurd orrcane or out of step, but the reality is they are the les. now if trump -- >> they don't always enforce them. >> if chuck schumer was in charge just as harry reid did last night, he probably would
change a rule he didn't like. >> you let ted cruz -- >> you think mcconnell is trying to help elizabeth warren? >> i don't think he likes her. i don't understand why -- >> i thought elizabeth warren 2020, thank you for giving us our first female president. >> i know, i'm a historian around here, i love my jobs go back to 1966, lbj, nixon one time made him the nominee in '68 by attacking him. >> i compared it to the gag rule in the 19th century. you couldn't -- >> it's in your article. >> that's right. it made the issue bigger because it made the issue about are we allowed to debate this question? it put more attention on it. >> this is what the democrats are down to. >> go. >> they don't have the white house. they don't have the senate. they don't have the house. they only have, what is it, 17 of 50 governors. they only got a mere 31 -- >> what's that got to do with -- >> look, all they have to do is shout and scream. that's all they've done. >> millions of women who showed up to protest on the march.
they have the millions of muslims -- >> we got to go. >> many women are supporting donald trump's -- >> absolutely. >> 42% voted for trump. the roundtable is sticking with up. >> not black women. we voted the right way. >> that out. >> we're going to stay, this, by the way, as you can see is where the action is. hey, need fast heartburn relief? try cool mint zantac. it releases a cooling sensation in your mouth and throat. zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. try cool mint zantac. no pill relieves heartburn faster.
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the following apology. i had no legitimate factual bases to make these false statements and i fully retract them. i acknowledge these false statements were very harmful and hurt to feel mrs. trump and her family and therefore i sincerely apologize to mrs. trump, her son, her husband and her parents for making these false statements. that's all i've got to say. we'll be right back. from the first moment you met it was love at first touch and all you wanted to do was surround them in comfort and protection that's why only pampers swaddlers is the #1 choice of hospitals to wrap your baby in blanket-like softness and premium protection mom: "oh hi baby" so all they feel is love wishing you love, sleep and play. pampers but when we brought our daughter home, that was it. now i have nicoderm cq. the nicoderm cq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. every great why needs a great how.
heck, i can get you over $600 in savings. chop, chop. do i look like i've been hurt before? because i've been hurt before. um, actually your session is up. hang on. i call this next one "junior year abroad." back with the round table. david, tell me something i don't know. >> in february, a special election in delaware will decide majority control in the state senate. if democrats lose they will be down to a mere five states where they have the governor's office and state legislatures. >> not good is it? >> it is for the republicans? >> not good for the progressive conservatives. >> and he's smiling. >> he should, he's a conservative. go ahead. >> i am going to predict the fifth circuit four, harken back into the 1950s into the 1960s led by three white men all republicans, another white male, a democrat, paved the way for all the civil rights legislation of today, i think the ninth
circuit will do the same with the decision on the washington case and immigration ban. >> fact from my book -- the share of corporate profits wall street accounted for was 30% before dodd/frank, went down to 17%, almost half. we'll see if it goes back up under trump if he refinancializes the economy. >> thank you very much jonathan chait, david, and michelle. when we return, let me finish with trump watch. you're watching "hardball."
trump watch, february -- actually, february 8, wednesday, 2017. a disturbing thought for tonight. could the cross currents in this case of the trump travel ban have kept us from the central constitutional question? suppose you're a judge and you have to decide whether to step in and stop a president from carrying out an executive order dealing with national security? if it's clearly unconstitutional the answer is easy. if the order says islam is the country's enemy and its beliefs should be kept from our borders the could should act and bluntly. however since the order refers to the same countries the united states congress has already identified as being dangerous, does such an executive order deserve to be denied? i know how hard it is to separate the executive order without reference to the previous statements and mayor giuliani or from who the president is issuing the order but wouldn't it be reasonable for judges to do just that why? no judge no matter how fail or brilliant has the ability to tell what the president's purpose is with any real
certitude they can only go on what's in the order itself and whether this faults within the president's wide latitude to protect our country. as harry truman put it, the buck stops here, that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from chicago, i'm chris hayes. we have breaking news at this moment. the senate voting just moments ago to confirm jeff sessions for attorney general after a bitter 24 hours that saw senator elizabeth warren pulled off the senate floor for speaking out against jeff sessions. senator she sharrod brown and congressman cedric richmond joins me tonight. and the president's pick called the president's broadside against the judicial branch demoralizing and disheartening on the heels of yet another attack from the president trump on the judges weighing his signature travel ban laurence tribe is here to discuss the presence of