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rosenstein. the president heads to virginia's liberty university to deliver the commencement address. now, back to "hardball." . welcome back to requested hardball." today we got another peek inside president trump's mind with lester holt's interview with the president. >> do you feel like you are fighting for your legitimacy. >> we are fighting for -- >> or your legitimacy is under attack. >> we have a very divided country. we have a lot of americans that love me. we had a group in with poll numbers it was so good, actually yesterday, it was so good, so strong, if the election were held today i would win by a lot more than i did on november 8th. >> so that wasn't the only interview that made news, earlier this week "time" magazine got their own exclusive dinner invite with the president. in one revealing exchange the president discussed if he
believed the administration had opinion too combative. saying it could be my fault. i don't want to necessarily blame, but there's great meanness out there i am surprised at a. senior administration official outlined the three rules of trump. when you are right, you fight. controversy elevates the message and never apologize. for more, i am joined by one of the "time" reporters white house correspondent zeke miller and a good friend of mine from the campaign trail. good to see you. quite an interview you had with donald trump. he was talking about how there is a great meanness out there. take us into the mind of donald trump right now in the white house. >> well, first up, first of all it's good to be with you, katie. i think we saw the inner tension within the president of the united states on monday night. there is the desire to be loved. there is the desire to respect him as the president and then there is the desire to you know fight when he has been attacked and often he struggles to
realize -- those are two essentially contradictory problems for him. >> but can you define in the past? any sort of criticism or news that might be negative about him an attack on him? >> in his mind, yes, also any mention of russia. we seen that over the last six months. that's why it took him so long to act knowledge russia was behind the e-mail hacks after all the agencies had made that conclusion by election day. it took trump until a week before he took office. he is very sensitive to all those things. he wants to counterpunch, that's his natural instinct. then he wonders why things are so negative, in part, he can't absorb a fight without fighting back. that elevates the temperature. >> you talk about meanness, he talks about meanness, but you were in his dining room where you could see his fantastic dvr the world greatest dvr, something like that. he showed you video of the
testimony that former fbi claims is i james clapper gave and salary yates. he talks about them choking while they were giving their testimony. james clapper responded to that on andrea mitchell earlier today. let's take a listen to that. >> the president actually taped your testimony from earlier this week. played it back for some "time" magazine reporters, played back your segment about collusion, lack of collusion. saying you were choking on your testimony. do you want to respond to that? >> well, i we heard about that tweet. i don't know what he meant by that. i certainly knew what i wanted to say and i attempted to certainly clear up this understanding about what i meant. >> so how does he control what he hears and he sees.
obviously, he is control tag dvr and watching back certain mentions of him that aren't so positive. >> yeah. i mean, the president records a large amount of cable news during the day and watches his back in a private dining room. he wants to be able to see it. he wants to bring aides if for commentary. it's almost leak watching a play-by-play of a football game on sunday afternoon. the president saying, oh, chuck grassley, great question, see how he does that almost as if he draws lines on a screen for you. here's how he runs that play. ten when it comes to, he picks out the things he believes indicates. he took director clapper's answer and fast forwarded it through sally yates' answer on the collusion question where she says she couldn't answer because he was classified. he was intentionally putting on a show with us. the president is often very combative with the press. at the same time, he couldn't be
a more gracious host for us, three hours on monday. i think you have experienced there on the campaign trail. one, the president is a very different person than he's seen, the donald trump that you have seen in public. >> absolutely. he calls me a great reporter and said sometimes. we have to go. we have to be short about it. he got two scoops of ice cream when everybody got one? >> he didn't ask for it. it came out that way. he's the president. >> zeke miller, good the see you, even if it's through a tv screen. who do you trust? president trump or his surrogate? you are watching "hardball." it's just a burst pipe, i could fix it. (laugh) no. with claim rateguard your rates won't go up just because of a claim. i totally could've - no! switching to allstate is worth it.
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and nothing rhymes with "org"... if you want to stay on top of your health, one simple thing to do -- is take the pledge to go and get screened for the cancers that might affect you. so stand up to cancer and take the pledge at getscreenednow.org it only takes a minute to take care of yourself, and nothing rhymes with "org"... . we get here early, we work beyond being here at this podium. as many of you know, we get here early. we work late. we work hard to get you the most accurate information throughout the day. we deep always get in to see the
president. in those case, we do a good job of following up. >> welcome back to "hardball" he says they fired james comey because jeff sessions and rod rosenstein recommend it. in an interview with lester holt, yesterday, the president insisted it was all him. it's not the only time the white house struggled to get its story straight. the administration's message can you say daily if not hourly. so who do the person people trust the president or his spokes people or neither? president trump says trust them all, just don't blame them if they get it wrong. he tweeted with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surgates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy wmt more on this, let's bring in "hardball"'s roundtable. a senior writer with the wraug washington post and a senior congressman from tennessee
harold ford and msnbc an lest. that's the question. do they have a credibility problem? do you trust everything the white house says whether it comes from the president or the pokes people? is there a point to those press briefings? >> i think they are trying very hard. the president's comments certainly don't inspire confidence, not only in his words or their words. if you are sean spicer or miss huckabee sanders, he basically said, look, i am going to send you out there, if i change my mind or new facts come my way, you should hope i will present them to you. i think one of the questions in the briefing, i can't recall who asked it, it was a legitimate question, can we trust you guys know what you are talking about can we take back to the reporting room what you shared about us? sean seems -- miss huckabee seemed concerned with the question. >> sean spicer said he is doing the best job he can and so many communication staff members him sometimes they don't have access
to the president. that's a big deal, to not necessarily know what the president is thinking or believing or why he made a decision before you get on to that podium. >> that podium is a big deal, big things happen at that podium. it's not just talking to a bunch of reporters, which it may look like, it's talking to the american people and the rest of the world. >> i think the real problem here is this is a president who lives moment-to-moment and minute-to-minute. he lives in his own head sometimes. he says whatever works for him in that moment. and he has a press staff often rushed to catch up to what he has said most recently. and he changes the game on them all the time. so i have no sympathy for them. on the other hand, this goes back to the first day on the job. when sean spicer came out there and lied to the entire country about the crowd size at the inaugural. it was ridiculous. >> that set the tone from the beginning. no one should go out there to that podium and say things they know are not true.
>> he and nicole wallace said that on the "today" show this morning. steve schmidt as welt. both of them have held those positions. take a listen. we don't actually have that sound anywhere. i will explain it to you. she said that she was never asked to go out and lie. sean spicer, as you said, starting off with that walker about the inauguration crowd size. so that is a question. do the american people not a donald trump supporter and say this guy is a liar. >> well, if they are a donald trump supporter, we don't care if they fudge the truth, whether it's trump or the surgates. we believe in the mission. we think he stands for people like us. we'll cut him some slack. the rest of the american populist, it's harder to say. there are a lot of people who are inclined to disbelieve everything that comes out of the white house. then there are a lot of people in the middle who are looking to the white house for a credible message. even when it's not something
silly and easily verifiably wrong, like crowd size, but like, think about more serious issues that we might want, statements from the white house to be truthful about. whether it's about foreign relations or otherwise. you know, you want to have -- >> a reason for going to war, essentially. >> exactly. exactly. so when you set that tone on day one, lying about crowd size, that means that you basically give the american public no reason to believe you win when the stakes are much higher. >> you all three are highly acclaimed and decorated journalists. think about this if you are mike pence, you have been lied two twice. have you public embarrassment. this all comes about because the president sent out his entire team, this whole thing about firing comey, is something he had been thinking about for a long time and something he placed all his cards on with the deputy attorney general. the president himself comes out the following night on this network, the mothership of his
network with lester holt and says, you know, russia was on my mind and it was totally my decision. now a normal person in a normal setting, we would not only be on fire how can you do this? with trump he gets this allowance almost, this accommodation, to your point, his supporters aren't offended be i this at all. i think his supporters as getting one over on the press by doing this it way. >> the supporters do feel attacked. >> no doubt about it. most of the people watching richard bur. you got to watch when that group of his gins to turn on him a little bit. i feel sorry for spicer too, spicer, he's serving the president not the publicch oftentimes that service is if conflict. >> he is serving the president who is serving the public. it's a round about way saying he is serving the public as well. >> sometimes serving the public is in conflict with that president we see it day in, day out, for him and those listening and follow him. >> coming up, stephen colbert
president trump. he says he was also disappointed in fbi director comey for exonerateing hillary clinton. >> he happened to have words with related lawyers, wow, he's guilty, guilty, then he gets to the end, she's free as a bird. >> so you didn't like the outcome? >> what happened, he had a lot of pressure put on and he exonerated her. >> we'll be right back.
welcome back to "hardball" sean spicer is back after a short break for naval reserve duty. the white house press secretary was back at his perch today. so is spicy, i mean mellissa mccarthy t. comedian was spotted in her spicy suit rolling in traffic. mccarthy is hosted "saturday night live" tomorrow the show really did the promo video. >> ♪ i feel pretty ♪ oh so pretty ♪ i feel pretty and witty and
bright < musical notes> ♪ and i pity any girl that will leave tonight ♪ ♪ such a pretty face, such a pretty hair ♪ ♪ i feel sunny and trusting and running ♪ ♪ for i know i am pretty comfortable ♪ ♪ >> who knew she had such a good voice. that's the late night show taking on the white house stephen colbert who president trump referred to as a no talent guy hit back at trump last night. >> the president of the united states has personally come after me and my show and there's only one thing to say he he he he. mr. trump, there is a lot you don't understanding but i never thought one of those things would be show business. don't you know, i have been
trying for a year to get to you say my name? and you were very restrained, admirably restrained, but now you did it. i won. zplp back with nick, katherine and harold. nick, tell me something i don't know. i love i'm on this side by the way. >> when was the last time we had questions about a secret tape in the oval office, of course, today the president or the white house refused to deny he had a taping system. back in the summer of '73, there were rumors that president nixon had a taping system. anybody could cop fish it for weeks and weeks until they finally admitted it to investigators. >> you know what i did just now? i jumped the gun. i'm not used to this format. >> that is coming up. >> that is coming up. >> i was wondering why -- >> that's obviously what we let in, i'm sorry, guys, i'm getting the hang of this. >> eighth friday, katie.
>> saturday, are you looking forward to melissa mccarthy? >> i don't know who came up with her doing it. she is phenomenal at it. i hope the president doesn't enjoy it. i hope spicy gets a kick. he is now global because of what melissa mccarthy does. she can sing as you said. >> do you think it bothers the white house that this was happening? i was talking to an associate of trump's today. he said that whenever sean spicer takes the podium, it's like a hostage video. >> it shouldn't bother them. but it does. i think the president is thin skinned about this kind of treatment. i think it's a great parody. i'm sure sean appreciates it. i'm less shower the president appreciates it. >> i am sure he does not. >> the reagans invited emisscopo over. >> does "late night" get under his skin? >> trump doesn't care about being called on a lie, being
revealed to the ignorance about something or not knowing how much health insurance costs, but if you question his manhood, make him look silly. >> i hope we are not referring to the hands thing at the debate. >> i didn't say anything. or you question the manhood of his spokes people for that matter by having sean spicer played by a woman. >> that stuff i think really gets up to date his skin. he hits a lot of unforced errors when that does happen. hey, it distracts him from tweeting about "snl" or whatever it is at the time. >> coming up, nick, you have to think of another one since you already gave me that one. harold, come up with something. they're staying with us. this is "hardball" where the action is. finding time to get things done isn't easy.
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>> we are back with the "hardball" roundtable, nick also told me something i didn't know. katherine, let's start with you. >> okay. so i was in a non-political one interest go ahead. >> okay. so are you aware of grey inflation, big deal, taking over college campuses, highles 62, et cetera, about 100 elite prep schools have decided inflation is so bad they are getting rid of grades all towing. >> wow. >> back to politics, there comes through my colleague in the washington bureau of the "times" she tells me the super pacs has been running nasty ads in georgia saying all money comes from out of state donors. >> harold, who is going to win in 2020? i will give you a hard one. tell me something i don't know. >> the approach taken by if a democrat wins in ohio, michigan,
that will be the loss. i like tim ryan, ohio. and i like my mayor out of palm beach, out of miami in florida. >> thank you. nick, karen, harold, that will do it for "hardball." chris matthews is back here on monday. >> since the president fired the director of the fbi james comey three days from now, we now got multiple reports the fbi's investigation of the russia issue, the russian attack on the presidential election and the question whether or not the trump campaign was involved in it somehow, they will have multiple reports at the time the fbi director was fired by the president, that fbi investigation into the trump-russia issue was expanding and accelerating and the director. was involved in the expansion and acceleration of it. the "new york times" is first to report that in the days before he was fired, director jim