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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 28, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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investigators yesterday. that plus nbc reporting bob mueller asking what donald trump knew about campaign e-mails an issue i discussed with former trump aide sam nunberg after his mueller interview. that's our show. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. losing hope. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. the heat is rising on donald trump. on friday, first son-in-law, he gets locked out of seeing anything top secret. yesterday, close aide hope hicks admitted she tells white lies for the president. today she announced she's quitting. special counsel robert mueller is drilling down on trump's russia business dealings and what he may have known in advance about the russian hacking into the democrats' e-mail, knowledge that could make him a co-conspirator.
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new heat on trump. with the students heading for washington, can he get away with doing nothing? nbc has confirmed the news that hope things someone who has been with donald trump since the early days of his campaigning is leaving. the timing certainly raises questions. just yesterday, hicks testified for eight hours before the house intelligence committee about russia. according to "the new york times," she made an admission, especially for a communications director for the white house. she told house investigators that her work for president trump had occasionally required her to tell white lies. to tell white lies. required her. earlier this month, there were reports hicks was involved in drafting early statements of support for rob porter. the white house aide who stepped down after reports emerged he abused his ex-wives. hicks was reportedly dating porter at the time of drafting that report. the president is frustrated according to the reporting over
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her handling of the porter controversy. i'm joined by peter baker, robert costa and meek yag eoyang, vice president for the national security program at third way. peter, this leaving, there was tears at the white house today. there was shock. the day after she made that amazing admission of white lies which didn't shock anybody but her leaving did. how do you put it together? >> yeah, it's great question. we don't know how the time works out. she told people before yesterday's session she had been thinking about this. it's not directly tied -- >> everybody's thinking about it. why did she walk out the very day after making this admission of telling lies for president? >> yeah, i agree. certainly going to raise questions if you wanted to mr. the exit, wouldn't want to be connected to that same news cycle because people would ask the obvious question, is one related to the other. she told people there's never a good time to leave.
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there's no point in trying to manage it too much because this news cycle is churning. something would come up if it wasn't that. she raised questions about her credibility, her conduct with the press. she's got a lot of respect among people in the white house and among reporters. you're right. the notion that you used that phrase white lies even if meant to be innocuous for communications director raises a lot of questions. the questions she hasn't answered in a public setting that people can see. >> robert, he's up to his elbows in alligators right now. mueller is coming at him for his business deals in the past, going after him for knowing all this stuff with the e-mails and the hacking of the dnc, of john podesta and why he knew ahead of time. now we know it was a crime. therefore if he played any role in advancing that crime, he's a co-conspirator. he has to do something about guns even if his party won't help him do it.
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those guys in pennsylvania and west virginia will not help him. the kids are coming to washington in two weeks. maybe a million of them demanding something be done. he can't hide in the white house bunker when kids and teachers say you have to do something. at that 340e789 it, hope hicks, his most loyal person walks. >> there's a lot there. you've seen the unraveling of the power structure. veteran republican operatives, seasoned military figures and the family and inner circle. hope hicks, if josh rafael. >> jared kushner is supposed to carry on our most secret sensitive negotiations? >> hope hicks leaving, josh leaving. on guns, republican feeling the heat. >> rick gates turning on him, flynn already turning on him. manafort about to. >> on guns the republicans are feeling the heat. suburban voters in places like philadelphia want to see gun control.
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republicans know the nra gets base voters to come out. they need to show some movement. that's why you saw the president today trying to show movement. >> he's got to deal with the appalachian wing of his party that doesn't want to do anything about guns. conner lamp is not talking guns. mieke, thank you for joining us. this is a political mess. it's about what is this president going to do in his situation? >> he's increasingly isolated. for a man who values loyalty, there is no one willing to go down with the ship with the exception of the family. >> dianne feinstein is 85 and she's sticking it out. this woman is 29 and she's going to spend time with her family? what family. i'm sorry. it sounds like the thing you do when you've been sacked. i've got to spend more time with my family. >> everyone is fleeing the ship. they cannot get anyone else to replace them. not only was jared stripped of his clearances, but all these other white house aides.
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now they don't have anyone who can do the basic block attack for the white house. as many mistakes as they've made, expect far more because they don't have anyone who can help him. >> they always say you don't make new friends at the white house. i'm wondering if at the meets anybody who could be the next flack for him. the fifth communications director trying to explain him to the country. he does what he wants to do, and by 7:30 in the morning you have to explain what he meant at 6:30 in the morning when he got the times and started rattling off his thoughts. i'm giving you credit. >> it's a thankless job. the reason why hope hicks is the fifth person to have it in 13, 14 months. it's hard who might want it next. it's not just that she's been in that job. she has been somebody who kind of had a connection to him that few other people had. the people he's been close to e that he came to town with as
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friends, hope it, keith schiller earnings handful of others they have been leaving. who is he left with? people he didn't know before 13 months ago. that's an awkward situation, a volatile situation. who is he going to turn to when he gets upset and needs somebody to execute his desires, how is he going to operate and a new team that will be in some ways brand-new to him. >> for.observers of the trump white house, the admission of white lies by hicks yesterday was nothing more than confessing the glaringly obvious. >> i guess it was the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. both in person and around the globe. >> do you think that talking about millions of illegal votes is dangerous to this country? >> no, not at all. because many people feel the same way that i do. >> you tweet the former administration wiretapped me, is your failed me at trump tower
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during the last election. how did you find out you? said i just found out. >> i've been reading about things. >> we're the highest taxed country in the world. we are having not only reform but the largest tax cuts in the history of our country. >> you're saying it's a falsehood. they're giving sean spicer it, the president sect gave alternative facts to that. >> what do you make of this? put a couple things together. he's got a communications vacancy. she walked on him today in the middle of all this. just walked out the door. what's his name, jade kushner, the strangest being i've come across in politics. i look at him and wonder if it's a robot. he's got good posture. what's it about? is he really his foreign policy guru who decided we move the embassy into jerusalem in the middle of all that fighting over there? centuries of conflict and that kid starts making decisions? is that his guy? >> no. >> why does he say he is?
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>> he says he's an advisor on foreign policy. if you ask rex tillerson or defense secretary jim mattis, is kushner the senior adviser making these negotiations? no, he's a confidante of the president. the reason he's there and the reason kelly is sensitive about going after him too much is he's family. >> can they visit on weekends at mar-a-lago? >> they want to be close to the flame. >> they're getting a piece of the action. what do you make of this, mieke? i'm not a genius. i know the american and world history. nepotism is a problem. the roman negatives didn't do well. >> going with family members, we see all the time, leads to you lower quality advise ersand outcomes. if they want him to be a good will ambassador, shake some hands and do things purely slolic, they're only in it for the symbolism anyway. >> he's an official greeter. >> yeah. >> maybe ivanka went to the olympics for that reason.
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yesterday "the post" reported officials in the white house were concerned that kushner was naive and being tricked in conversations with foreign leaders. jonathan swan reported the trump family and don junior in particular was angry at the overwhelmingly negative coverage about jared last night and feels general kelly is hanging jared out to dry. is he? you in your sourcing, do you sense or sniff out the possibility that mr. kelly doesn't love mr. jared kushner? i don't think he does. >> based on my reporting, he says i'm the chief of staff. you can be family or you can be employees. if you choose to stay, you're going to be employees. of course, that has caused tensions. you can fully be an employee and still be the president's son-in-law or his daughter. this has created all this tension within the white house. even general kelly with four decades of experience in the military is finding it troubling to try to move forward and make some decisions. >> there's an irony -- go ahead. >> it's not just that this is
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some vendetta family versus staff. kushner has huge security vulnerabilities. the reporting we saw that foreign governments are trying to influence him through his business. >> what did he do wrong that won't allow the fbi to clear him? >> he's had meetings with foreign people he wasn't disclosing. when you're dishonest with investigators, that's a real red flag. he has foreign businesses that create huge vulnerabilities for leverage from foreign countries that want to get to him. >> are people like ron dermer and bebe and people like that using this guy as a slight figure they can manipulate? that's what the reporting was. >> that's what the reporting suggests. >> the post reported, my colleagues two weeks ago, the fbi is still doing its background investigation on kushner. that's why he's not getting the clearance. they're still doing field work on all his foreign meetings. >> this is so much march of the second year. then candidate trump hammered
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hillary clinton for her handling of classified information. let's watch him in action and what he says about his rivals. >> we also need the best protection of classified information. hillary's private e-mail scandal which put our classified information into the reach of our enemies disqualifies her from the presidency. this was not just extreme carelessness with classified material. which is still totally disquali disqualifying. this is calculated, deliberate, premeditated misconduct. >> in my administration, i'm going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. >> okay. peter, so he gets elected president and flips. he starts giving all the classified information to his son-in-law that can't pass muster with the fbi. he's talking about background checks for buying guns but doesn't believe in them for people getting classified information. he's got a real credibility
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problem here and it's his family that's causing it. your thinking. > you're right the classified information was a big theme of his in the campaign and the question then becomes, are you living up to the standard you yourself set. what he's doing is still on the attack against hillary clinton. you saw just today in his tweet assailing jeff sessions for not having an investigation into how the obama administration handled the fisa warrant of carter page trying to make sure that the focus is on the democrats as much as he can. it's a tough battle when you're the president of the united states. you're in office right now. it's your conduct and your staff's conduct at issue. right now, of course, jared kushner's in the spotlight. one of the reasons you bring in family on a staff like this because you want somebody you can trust. the downside is it's harder to fire somebody if they mess up. >> well, he didn't have to fire hope hicks. you know trump as well as any reporter.
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how does he operate with all these moving parts, hope splits, his son-in-law is a problem, his daughter he gives her big opportunities. not problem there. the son is don jsh is no help. yet he relies on the people that are no help. who does help him? how does he get through the day and night? how does he do it. >> how does he do it? at the end of the day based on my experiences over the years was candidate trump and president trump, he's a loner. he relies on staff, hope hicks provided him with media information. he was his own strategist. he saw the republican primaries and said i'm going to try to dominate that through the media. i'll do it my way. we keep talking about this staff are coming and going. if you know trump, at the end of the day, it's him alone choosing to be alone, making decisions. and as a reporter, you step back and say that's what i've always encountered. >> who does he call up and say i'm in trouble here. can you help me. is it tom barak?
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>> he loves working the phone. he's more candid on the phone. sometimes he doesn't want to hear what people have to say. he'll flesh out ideas with them. people will say i spoke to trump last night for 45 minutes. what did you say? he spoke for 44. this is who he is. he's a complicated figure. and people work for him. they're friends with him but no one really controls him or ever has controlled him. i think back to my "access hollywood" conversation with him. he told me you don't know the life. i've been through everything, personal problems, political problems, financial problems. and he said it was him alone after "access hollywood" watching television, watching the crowd outside of trump tower. you think how does he go without hope hicks or steve bannon? it's always about him at the end, not the staff. >> sinatra. sinatra in the white house. that's what i hear. thank you, peter baker, robert costa and mika, you were great
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tonight. come up, as if the chaos inside the white house wasn't enough, trump's feeling heat from two big sources right now. nbc news is reporting tonight the special counsel robert mueller is zeroing in on whether trump knew about that stolen democratic e-mail cache before they were released by wikileaks and reports mueller is he digging into trump's business dealings with russia right now. on the home front, trump's also under pressure on guns. today he seems ready to get behind a bill that strengthens background checks and raising the minimum age to buy an assault rifle. he's got to do something in the wake of the deadly shooting in florida with all the young people coming to washington in march. another stein he's under pressure, he's back at war with jeff sessions. he called him disgraceful today. his own attorney general after the attorney general opened an investigation into surveilance abuse and now sessions is hitting back. finally, i'll finish with trump
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today the country paid tribute to america's pastor, the late reverend billy graham. the leader who counseled presidents more than 60 years was afforded one of the country's greatest distinctions as his body lay in honor at the capitol rotunda. he became only the fourth private citizen to receive that honor, the first since rosa parks in 2005. graham ministered to people from all walks of life from heads of state to every day americans. today he was honored by all of them. it was something to see, that wooden coffin sitting in the capitol rotunda surrounded by all that history. we'll be right back. and tank. and tiny. and this is laura's mobile dog grooming palace. laura can clean up a retriever that rolled in foxtails, but she's not much on "articles of organization." articles of what? so, she turned to legalzoom. they helped me out. she means we helped with her llc, trademark, and a lot of other legal stuff that's a part of running a business.
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during the 2016 election. multiple people familiar with the probe tell nbc news robert mueller's team is asking witnesses pointed questions whether donald trump was aware that democratic e-mails had been stolen before that was publicly known and whether he was involved in their strategic release. as the u.s. intelligence community concluded over a year ago, putin himself ordered the operation that ultimately hacked it the accounts of the democratic national committee and that of hillary clinton's campaign chairman john podesta. those e-mails were then disseminated to the public through wikileaks as part of russia's influence campaign to help elect trump over clinton. among his lines of inquiry, mueller is questioning witnesses about the public overture that trump famously made to russia just after the first stolen e-mails were released when trump embraced their efforts and called on the kremlin to find more of clinton's e-mails. >> did you call on putin to stay out of this election?
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>> i'm not going to tell putin what to do. why should i? i will tell you this, russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. >> ha. ultimately today's reporting makes clear that robert mueller's determined to find out when and how trump learned of the damaging e-mails russia possessed back then. as miriam roca told me on monday, anyone who knew of russia's efforts and advanced their scheme could be implicated in a conspiracy charge. let's watch her. >> someone within the campaign if they were aware of those efforts and had knowledge of them and took symptom step to further those efforts, the goal of that conspiracy by others, then they could be liable for that conspiracy themselves. >> i'm joined by senator richard
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blumen tal, randall eliasson and kath i turco authored that report for nbc news. this is fascinating. let's start with the fact of preknowledge. if the president knew about what the russians were up to in terms of podesta's e-mail, the dnc stuff and knew they were out to help hillary, i'm told by miriam and i guess this is common knowledge among prosecutors, if you advance the cause of a criminal activity, a criminal conspiracy, you're a co-conspirator. >> that is the big question. what did donald trump know and when did he know it. you played the sound bite a moment ago of that news conference from jewel 27, 2017 in the middle of the dplashlg convention. the hacked e-mails from the dnc had just started to come out. donald trump was asked about this. remember, had he taken these friendly positions towards russia and people were wondering why and what would trump say to this? would he tell russia not to meddle in our election.
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you heard what he said, russia, if you're listening, i want to see hillary clinton's e-mails. investigators want to know if that call meant meant he knew not just about the hack of the dnc but the hack of the clinton server e-mails, podesta's e-mails which didn't come out till october. how did he know about that if he did? they're also looking into roger stone, one of trump's early campaign advisers. was a staffer on the campaign till august 2015. the campaign said he was fired. roger stone said he quit. investigators want tooid if he continued to be an unofficial part of the campaign and if so, what did he and trump talk about? could have about been some sort of liaison between the two of them and could it have resulted in a back channel potentially with whoever had the hacked stolen e-mails. roger stone in august of 2016 was tweeting how it was going to be john podesta's turn in the
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barrel. a month later, the same day as the "access hollywood" e-mail, those podesta e-mails come out. that would help trump because he was facing so much scrutiny for what he said on that tape. >> senator, either stone is jeanne dixon, he's a clairvoyant or just knows stuff. how did he know it would be john podesta's turn to get hacked? >> there was some real facts here that make this timing deeply damning to donald trump. not only the prafgs roger stone but also remember george papadopoulos who has been convicted in his plea agreement it, he acknowledges that he knew in april months before wikileaks actually released the e-mails that they had been stolen by the russians, that they were in fact likely to be released. george papadopoulos is a foreign policy advisor to donald trump. one who wants to ingratiate
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himself falling all over himself to make himself more friendly and impressive to the trump campaign. and there's additionally his son donald trump jr. who in a series of messages given to the judiciary committee, now made public, indicates a familiarity with wikileaks and with those stolen e-mails. what did he tell his father and when did that happen? so there is a ladder here of criminal culpability that the special counsel is following pieces of the mosaic are coming together. it is damning and extraordinarily significant. >> randall, when you're in a losing campaign, you look for hail mary opportunities, something that might change the game. you do. you're desperate. if somebody comes along and says i've got dirt on your opponent that could break her campaign you know that's what you need to win. now, putting aside whether the russia involvement changes the result of the election, in the middle of last summer of '16,
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trump thought he needed somebody 0 change the campaign. it doesn't surprise me he was take dangerous steps and listen to people like roger stone and papadopoulos to get anything he could to change that election around, which i was losing. >> of course, >> go ahead. is that a conspiracy if he tried to help the russians? we were told by miriam yes into it all depends what mueller uncovers in terms of the facts. 13 russians who's colluded illegally to influence the election have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the u.s. >> there's an underlying crime. >> that same crime applies to americans if they worked with the russian to illegally influence the election. conspiracy is all about proving intent and knowledge. that seems to be what mueller is probing now, what did the president and others now about the russian involvement, hacked e-mail and were they involved. >> even that public admission, request by the president, will the russians please put out more stuff on hillary, could that be
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a crime since it's so obviously open? there's nothing sneaky about that. >> that doesn't bowl me over. if there was a secret conspiracy going on, the president is unlikely to announce it publicly at a campaign event snuch randall, from the day this russian thing came about, on a positive side, i thought trump may be trying to pull off a grand deal in the middle east, somehow the deal with syria he hasn't said a word against account russians from day one up till recently. not a word against them. everything around the context, the package of his relationship with the russians is good will, don't say a word against a terrible dictator. does that tell you anything what his motives are here? >> that's definitely part of the entire picture mueller is looking at, circumstantial evidence. trying to put the pieces together. why is he not willing to say anything negative? >> in that same press conference that you cited where he lauded the russians and asked them to
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go find other hacked e-mails he said he would he consider lifting sanctions and recognizing russia's annexation of the ukraine and publicly, as well. to go to your point, i agree that it is not itself a crime to have said that in public. but it is evidence. all of this stuff really counts as very important evidence. >> a story that broke moments ago, "the washington post" is reporting that special counsel mueller has been investigating a period of time last summer when -- this is '17 summer that, trump seemed to determined to drive jeff sessions from his job. that's according to people familiar with the matter who said a key area of interest is whether those efforts were part of a month's long pattern of attempted obstruction of justice. katy it your on this, the president has never gotten over by the decision of the attorney general he put there, jeff sessions to basically pull himself out of the whole question to recuse himself with
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the whole question of picking a special counsel, allowing the deputy attorney general to pick one and to set this whole train running toward him, this prosecution by robert mueller. is this all part of that, this effort to try to ruin and force out as part after obstruction effort the attorney general he put in there because he got this thing going, this prosecution? >> it seems like the anger he has about robert mueller he's taking out on jeff sessions which is why we saw flare ups like we saw today. clearly he is not happy his attorney general is not protecting him. he said as much on television in interviews. he thinks the attorney general should protect him. eric holder in his mind protected president obama. jeff sessions should be protected him, appointing a special counsel and allowing this to continue is not or excuse me, recusing yourself and allowing this to happen is not
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protecting donald trump. so he's frustrated. i don't have that piece of the puzzle quite yet on whether the special counsel is asking directly about that line on jeff sessions on obstruction. but i can tell you, chris, that those who have sat for interviews say that it seems like they know what they're doing and they very something pretty concrete pretty clear on donald trump himself. and not just on the obstruction angle but rather on the coordination or collusioning and. >> yeah, it sounds like they've got all three vines working including the laundering, too. that red line has been crossed already. i think trump's going to crazy on that. senator richard blumenthal of connecticut, thank you, and randall and katy tur for her reporting. up next, the trump white house is also feeling the heat on another front. guns. trump knows he has to do something or certainly look like he's doing something for the next couple of weeks. this is "hardball" where the action is. how do you chase what you love
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want us to do about what woulthis president?fathers i'm tom steyer, and when those patriots wrote the constitution here in philadelphia, they created the commander in chief to protect us from enemy attack the justice department just indicted 13 russians for an electronic attack on america. so what did this president do? nothing. he's failed his most important responsibility - to protect our country. the question is: why is he still president? ♪ cleaning floors with a mop and bucket is a hassle, meaning you probably don't clean as often as you'd like. for a quick and convenient clean, try swiffer wetjet. there's no heavy bucket, or mop to wring out, because the absorb and lock technology traps dirt and liquid inside the pad. it's safe to use on all finished surfaces tile, laminate and hardwood.
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welcome back to "hardball." today was the first day of classes at majorry stoneman douglas high school since a gunman killed 17 students down there and staff on valentine's day. in the wake of that tragedy, there's been a growing outcry spearheaded by the young survivors of the shooting and teachers to do something on guns. this morning, dick's sporting goods announced it was ending sales of assault r50i68s and
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that it will no longer carry high capacity magazines and will raise the age limit for gun purchases to 21. and late today, walmart announced too would raise the age limit from 18 to 21. today president trump hosted another discussion on school safety and guns with a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing both sides to get something done. >> so as we continue to mourn the loss of so many precious young lives in parkland, florida, we're determined to turn our grief into action. i really believe that. i think that the people at this table want it. i see some folks that don't say nice things about me. and that's okay. because if you turn that into this energy, i'll love you. i don't care. we're going to be able to do it. >> at times the president seemed willing to go further when it comes to guns. >> you can buy a handgun. you can't buy one -- you have to wait till you're 21.
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but you can kind account weapon used in the school shooting at 18. it's something you have to think about. if you add concealed carry to this you'll never get it passed. i'd rather have you come up with a strong, strong bill and really strong on background checks. >> but republican leader who have control of the house and senate are reluctant to take on the nra. i'm joined by charlie sykes, author and eddie glod, professor at princeton and an msnbc contributor. i had a sense that trump knows he has to do something. he has to do something at least on background checks. even that could be tricky. maybe in raising the age for an assault rifle purchase up to 21. i'm worried that isn't going to pass muster with the appalachian guy like toomey and mansion. they didn't look very happy today when the president started to talking about racing the age to buy an assault rifle.
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>> you have to watch some of the video where he talks about his support for grabbing guns without due process. if barack obama had said some of the things trump said, everybody in that room would have had their hair on fire. my advice would be give it a couple days. this reminded me a lot of that immigration meeting where he's sitting around the table talking about an act of love. i will sign whatever you bring up because one of the things that was clear is he wants to do something but he is profoundly ignorant of the policy. i think he's going to find out how deeply engrained the power and the authority of the nra are. so it continues to be. but some of the things that he said there mark a dramatic break with the nra and puts his fellow republicans at a very awkward position which makes me think that again, give it a little time to see whether or not when he goes back in and his staffers say you can't do this and wayne la pierre is on the phone
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screaming at him, whether or not you might see the kind of reversal that you saw after that immigration love fest. >> yeah, i agree. eddie, i get the feeling watching so much of this is about geography. if you represent west virginia, you have to be careful not to break with the rituals like teaching your son or daughter how to use a gun. the fact that joe manchin looked a little easy when the president started to talk about raising the age to buy an assault rifle. >> right. i think charlie is right. this is classic trump theater. he feels the pressure. he wants to be seen as a man of action. and he's feeling the pressure of those young students down in florida who are pushing the agenda. so i also think that you know, he hasn't quite got his mind around the different constituencies and how difficult this nut will be to crack. and so we'll see once he gets back to the white house whether
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or not he's going to flip like did he with the immigration issue. i think we need to take this meeting at face value. we don't know what's coming afterwards. >> eddie, while you're on, look how he set up the choreography today. he put dianne feinstein, the foremost advocate for limiting sales of assault rifles. she's the one you think of as go to for stopping the sale of assault rifle. two seats to his right, a strong gun control person, chris murphy of connecticut. he seemed like he wanted to -- what do you call it, not flinch, clinch like a boxer losing a round. he wants to stop the action a little bit and look like -- he also said i want to have a bill both sides agree with. i'm not sure if he doesn't think this is one issue that's going to hit him in the burbs and he better be careful if he looks like the obstacle. >> if we were dealing with a traditional political actor, that would make sense. i don't know what trump's
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political cue lus, how he thinks. i don't know what they are. so it seems to me that it would make sense on the one hand that that choreography that you just described would suggest that he's up to something. but again, i don't know what's going to happen once he gets back to the white house. what's interesting about the room, he's talking about gun violence in america. did you see any block congress members in there? you think about gun violence affecting black communities in this country? there was no one in the room. >> to give you a sense of who matters in trump's mind. >> it could be a suburban show, too. it could be about the areas for this 2018 lacks will be decided. you're smart about that. i didn't notice. that's the kind of thing i should have noticed, the absolute lack of diversity in that room. thank you for bringing that up. that's the thing that has to be brought up all the time in any meeting in any political setting in this country the need for diversity. thank you very much. thank you, eddie glaud and
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charlie sykes. with the walls closing in, trump is lashing out attacking attorney general sessions over the russia probing his actions, his attorney general's, disgraceful. you're watching "hardball." it's what this country is made of. but right now, our bond is fraying. how do we get back to "us"? the y fills the gaps. and bridges our divides. donate to your local y today. because where there's a y, there's an us. today, smart planning is helping the new new york rise higher than ever. as the world leader in unmanned aerial systems, we're attracting the world's best talent to central new york. and turning the airport into a first-class transportation hub. all while growing urban areas into vibrant places to live and work.
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that puts ourselves in harm's way, and to have a partner that is so skilled at what they do is indispensable, and i couldn't ask for a better partner. welcome back to "hardball." the walls are closing in on the president right now according to the latest reporting from nbc news, trump finds himself under the spotlight of special counsel robert mueller's investigation. one of his most loyal advisers hope hicks is calling it quits today after admitting to investigators yesterday she tells whitize for the president. and trump remains under pressure when it comes to gun control. in the face of forces beyond his control, he's act true to form lashing out at a favorite target believe it or not, attorney general jeff sessions who he picked to be ag. trump asked on twitter, why is jeff sessions asking the inspector general to investigate potentially massive fisa abuse?
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isn't the ig an obama guy. >> why not use justice department lawyers? disgraceful. sessions fought back saying in a statement as long as i am the attorney general, i will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor. let's bring in the roundtable. carrie johnson, justice correspondent for npr, beth for nbc news and msnbc, and seth herndon national political reporter for the "boston globe." gentlemen and ladies, pick your poison. he's got to do something on guns because the students and teachers are coming at him. he's going to do something about mueller because mueller is getting into his role in working with the russians to get himself elected president. it's getting in close. that's what he's looking at. what else? the guns thing, the mueller thing and hope hicks, the one constant in every picture he has there is she, a young person. a very important person to him. good-bye, i'm leaving right now.
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maybe she planned it. i said today, dianne feinstein is sticking around at 85 and she's leaving at 29 because he wants to spend more time with her family? i'm going to pursue other ambitions when you get fired that's what you say. why is she leaving? this crew, mueller is -- let's go after sessions. he's still blaming jeff sessions for allowing robert mueller to come at him. >> that's right. nine months after special counsel robert mueller was appointed, president trump is still upset with his most loyal ally jeff sessions another attack this morning on sessions. >> disgraceful. >> the difference is jeff sessions fought back for the first time. he said as long as he's the attorney general, he's going to discharge his duties with honor and integrity. the justice department is going to follow the constitution, not the orders of president trump. >> he wants his justice department leader to be roy cohn. he wants to be a dirty trickster for him is what he wants.
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>> he's talked about that. jeff sessions is not playing ball. robert mueller is here to stay. it appears jeff sessions is here to stay too even though the president now seems toe desperately want him to quit, sessions says he's not going anywhere for now. neither is robert mueller as he inches closer to president trump. >> what the hell is going on with hope hicks? they put out a lot of slop today. i shouldn't knock any reporter. they're the best in the business. especially maggie. to put out, she was always planning to leave . no news here. yes, it's news. our network tonight said a shocker. >> she was up at the house intelligence yesterday admitting she told white lies for her boss. they've renders her basically ineffective. >> why did she say that? kennedy said he has a cold and has to go back to the white house. he didn't have a cold. >> she was saying when he's in
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the office i'll say he's not in the office or he can see a visitor when he probably could, he doesn't want to. sorry, when the word is out of your mouth, white lies you're no longer effective. i know she's a very loved at the white house, very loved by trump and his family. how effective has she been? trump is his own communications adviser. is she there when he's up at 6:30 in the morning choosing what target to tweet when he tweeted at sessions and called him a disgray? by the way, right at the same time that paul manafort was arriving at district court to be arraigned. it was a bad morning for communications by president trump. >> waiting for him to roll. let's talk about guns. i keep thinking of when the doug boys arrived in world war i, the situation change and germany was going to lose and the brits and french were going to win. this new force of students and teachers are so credible, when they go on television, everybody stops and listens. >> and they give a sense of credibility to the gun control
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issue and the sense of raw emotion. we know these are kids who just went through that. you can see in this meeting today that trump at least believes that he can believes rhetorically take on the nra. he's at least saying at least to republican senators you know, you are too scared of the nra. it's time to take them on. >> that's the truth. >> who knows. >> by the way, that's not a white lie to say they're afraid of the nra. we're going to stick around. roundtable is sticking with us. you're watching "hardball." ncomb from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase.
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...again and again and maybe just one more time. indulge in irresistible freshness. febreze unstopables. breathe happy. we're back with the "hardball" roundtable. kerry, tell me something i don't know. >> since the terrible shooting that killed 17 people at the high school, some disreputable companies have been markeding backpacks saying they're bullet proof. the justice department came out today and said the doj doesn't test anything other than body armor for police. any marketing you see about these being bullet proof, don't believe it unless it's coming from a reputable source. >> that's disturbing. >> chris. >> hope hicks served 168 days as white house communicates director. anthony scaramucci served ten. by my calculations she has served 16.8 scaramuccis. >> she's got the record. >> fun fact for the last day of black history month. >> good for you. >> this is a white house that
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has no african-americans among the top lanks of the commissioned officers. our reporting says that's the first administration since omarosa left. >> you mean top people. >> among their top ranks of commissioned officers. first time it's happened in a long time. >> thank you. we'll be right back. i'll be right back. -ahh. -the new guy. -whoa, he looks -- -he looks exactly like me. -no. -separated at birth much? we should switch name tags, and no one would know who was who. jamie, you seriously think you look like him? uh, i'm pretty good with comparisons. like how progressive helps people save money by comparing rates, even if we're not the lowest. even if we're not the lowest. whoa! wow. i mean, the outfit helps, but pretty great. look at us. wow. i mean, the outfit helps, but pretty great. the toothpaste that helps prevent bleeding gums. if you spit blood when you brush or floss you may have gum problems and could be on the journey to much worse. help stop the journey of gum disease. try parodontax toothpaste. ♪
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want us to do about what woulthis president?fathers i'm tom steyer, and when those patriots wrote the constitution here in philadelphia, they created the commander in chief to protect us from enemy attack the justice department just indicted 13 russians for an electronic attack on america. so what did this president do? nothing. he's failed his most important responsibility - to protect our country. the question is: why is he still president?
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- there's a common thread i see every time i'm in the field. while this was burning, you were saving other homes. neighbors helping neighbors and strangers alike. - this is what america's about. - sometimes it's nice to see all the good that's out there. bringing folks out, we have seen it in community after community. trump watch, wednesday february 28th, 2018. i believe president trump is
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going to do something about guns, nothing great. just something. the reason he's taking action is that group of students and teachers from parkland, florida insys he do it. the game-changers, forces for action donald trump want becoming his enemies especially when they arrive for the big rally in the nation's capital of washington, d.c. on march 24th. these students and teachers are tilting the country toward action. doing nothing is not an option for the president. trump doesn't want to get ahead of those in congress. he wants the lawmakers to take the lead. he had dianne feinstein sitting right next to him today, the lawmaker most associated with banning assault rifles like the ar-15. he knows no bill will pass muster that fails to deal with that, the availability of easy to use mass killers. today trump showed himself eager to get action going on guns. he was carrying on a lively respectful, actually respectful conversation with chris murphy from connecticut. one of those wayne lapierre yea
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dismissed last week as a socialist. we'll see if trump puts the pressure on mcconnell and ryan, the real deal to get the bill through both houses of congress gres. if he does, it be great watching trump going up against the nra, sort of like king kong tanglinging with godzilla. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" tarts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> come on up here, hope. >> the white house loses hope. >> where is hope. >> one day after her testimony to the russia probe, yet another top trump staffer steps down. >> will you be back. >> what we know about the sudden departure of hicks. then as the president demands his attorney general investigates his enemies. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. > an nbc news exclusive report. >> i love wikileaks. >> robert mueller is