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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  March 22, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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employer, fox news, shortly. that is the news tonight. this is all real life. i want to thank my panelists, my reporter, my esteemed colleagues and the senator. thank you all for being part of the breaking news coverage that continues right now on "hardball." war footing. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington with breaking news from the white house that could have major national security implications. president trump announced general h.r. mcmaster is leaving his role as national security adviser. he's out. he will be replaced by john bolton, former u.s. ambassador to the united nations. what that means for the direction of the country's national security policy is clear. mcmaster's was a moderating force in the white house who urged the president not to rip up the nuclear deal with iran.
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bolton is hard-liner and called the deal with iran the biggest single act of appeasement by the west since munich. in the past he called for bombing of iran. i'm joined by vivian solama. and, of course, move that back, please, joliet ainsley, former tate department official, and stunned by the news. i don't know if this is wag the dog, is this to get away from stormy daniels and the whole rest of this hell or what, but they are bringest the biggest neo-con in the world. the one exec that so many millions of voters voted against in 2016, who voted against stupid wars and bring in the biggest hawk there's ever been and put him as head of national security is awful. and i don't know anybody who disagrees with that, who thinks, your thoughts? >> you just said the word hawk, that's what john bolton is. he's no stranger -- >> he likes war.
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he wants war with iraq. he pushed and pushed and pushed and wanted to go to war with syria. name a country in the middle east he didn't want to go to war the. and now he wants war with iran. >> one of the issues he's particularly devout about is getting this nuclear deal with iran to just go away. >> so he can do what he wants to do, which is bomb. >> he wants to scrap it. >> he has said, i want to bomb. >> he is very, very skeptical about the iranian regime -- yeah, that's exactly the way. >> his alternative plan has been, he's written about it extensively, bomb. >> what we're seeing is a president going away from people who are giving him that moderating voice of reason, because he doesn't want to hear it anymore. he doesn't want to hear it on the iran nuclear deal, he doesn't want to hear it with his own defense against robert mueller. we saw that today with the resignation of john dowd. this is a pattern we are seeing. the president wants to surround himself with people pugnacious, dog ed and tell him more of what he wants to hear. vivian knows a lot about his relationship with h.r. mcmaster
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and how he wanted to get away from someone who was that voice of reason. >> let me bring her in, the record is pretty straight now spending millions of dollars on the war with iraq and afghanistan. and this fella having spoupport both the wars, i just read this a few moments ago, there's still time to bomb iran. he wrote that in 2015. he's an all-out neo-con hawk. that's the kind the president wants. >> let's not forget north korea, too, where we have another volatile leader that jumdonald trump recently committed to meeting face to face. when john bolton was at the united nations, he was the architect for reducing the u.s. involvement in the national community. he's said there's no united nations. there's barely an international community that the united states can lead. unfortunately, in this era of donald trump's america first, we're talking about america
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alone. and an america that is not interested this working on international agreements and diplomatic resolutions to the challenges facing the world. and with john bolton and his ten your at the u.n. that he's pulled back the united states involvement, we'll look at the united states going at it alone once again. >> general mccaffrey, i dare to say a lot of people in wisconsin, indiana, ohio, michigan, working men and women who voted for trump because they thought he would stop stupid wars. because their kids, their kids are the ones who fight these wars. and now he brings in bolton, bolton, who to whom war is like a philosophy. and you know, you know who this guy is. and to put him in charge, is this the distracted attention from the helmets affecting the guy personally and the legal threats the president faces and the possibility of impeachment? is this to be wagging the dog, is this what he's doing now, trump? >> no, i think he now thinks he's in charge.
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so i think the president is rearranging the landscape. and bolton is extremely intelligent, very experienced, writes beautifully, and probably is the most hard-edge person in 25 years in foreign policy. he's replacing a guy, h.r. mcmaster, by the way, who had a lot of experience on the ground as a troop commander in combat. so h.r. and most of the soldiers don't want to fight. they know what it's going to look like. so i do think this is a extremely momentous turning point in the way we can expect the white house to respond to foreign policy issues. >> and chris this is -- >> go ahead, jump in. >> chris, this is the problem we have with john bolton in charge of national security, it's the classic civilians and their ideas as war hawks of what works overruling and overriding the generals. that's the problems we saw in the iraq war and a problem we'll be seeing coming out of the white house foreign policy going
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forward. >> you know, we had these characters over in the state department, the defense department under w. and they pushed and pushed for war. they got a president of limited, w. not a bad man, but of limited ability like cheney and bolton got them into the war. 15 years we regretted that war. 15 years of lots of lost lives, not just american lives and people disfigured and losing limbs, but hundreds of thousands of people on the other side. we have to consider who are dead now because of this. we lost the one buffer we had with iran, iraq. we had a government willing to fight them, that went to war with them. we had somebody between them and israel. somebody between them and us. and now we're facing iran, and this guy now, when he has this opportunity, wants to go. you know he does. >> well, i mean, almost to julia's point earlier where you have this individual who really speaks to the president's interests in terms of being really hawkish and tough in iran, putting them in their place. undoing what the obama
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administration had done in iran and being tougher on north korea. these are things that john bolton really speaks to and appeals to. also important to note, john bolton is a contributor for fox news. this president happens to really be into a lot of the television commentators he sees. a lot of people who he sees on television, he regards as authoritiesle. and it just so happens john bolton is a very intelligent person and does have a very long career in foreign policy, but he's someone that the president also sees on a daily basis on television at fox news. and so he has always been on the president's mind. john bolton was somebody that the president spoke to during the transition and has repeatedly revisited for a post in this administration. >> let's go back to joy, wasn't he camped out at the door for a long time by john kelly? >> yeah, john kelly was pretty much the door keeper, but we're starting to see that lessen a little bit. >> he can't keep bolton out, bolton is now his colleague as head of the national security.
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he's now calling the shots. >> i just keep thinking of all the people who recently lost their security clearances, all the people who aren't in the room anymore, so that pull has gotten smaller. even if people thought jared kushner should have never been getting the presidential daily briefing, here he was a moderating voice. he tried to keep the president kind of in a moderate line. that's one person less that will be in the room when he's being briefed by john bolton. >> what is it going to be like when we have a new coalition of jared kushner, a hawk, with the financing of the mentality, you can tell he is, bolton is one of his guys, and who else is in this mess? who is going to say no, let's cool it here. >> well, a lot of the moderates have been on the outs with this administration. gary cohn is leaving, mcmaster, a moderate, you just said that and tillerson, of course. that was one of the big problems. the president last week when he was letting tillerson go, specifically cited his views on
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the iran deal. and said that that was just not going to work. they had very different views. and now here you have someone like john bolton who speaks to what the president really wants to do, which is shake things up, cancel the iran nuclear deal and get tough and crackdown. we'll see what the limits are or if there are limits, but they are going to crackdown on iran. >> let's go back to general mccaffrey. >> you've got to remember two things. one is, the congress of the united states. i think -- the people that are most concerned about this right now will be the republican leadership in the senate. who will be looking at the probable outcome of the foreign policy debate that will go on with bolton in such a key position. the other fact to keep in mind is secretary jim mattis who is a defense intellectual, a very thoughtful law-abiding man who has had a lot of machine guns fired by his ears. so i think there's going to be a stabilizing coalition now between the congress and the department of defense.
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pompeo probably being extremely intelligent will also be weary of ending up in a disaster with foreign policy. so that's what we have to count on. >> who did you say was the moderating force besides pompeo, general? >> well, secretary jim mattis, department of defense. he's actually been under fire multiple times. he's not going to want to start -- end up in a war with iran, that would be the simply the stupidest war we would ever engage in, but north korea is the one to really watch, not iran. >> let's talk about that, come in here and just lead this discussion a bit. it seems to me that the world headlines are moving for tomorrow morning's papers in germany and the rest of the world, they are all going to be headlined. i think as somebody said a moment ago, hard-liner is a pretty good way to describe it. so obama, i'm sorry, president trump, i said president trump names hard-liner as national security chief. how is that going to sound around the world? >> well, look at the other hard
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liners donald trump met with this week, the crown prince of saudi arabia, who was apparently talking back at home how happy he was that tillerson was gone as a moderating force. the saudis and the uae are very excited about the idea of the united states taking a harder line towards iran. so you're seeing their influence in the removal of general mcmaster as well. again, this is taking a very particular side in the middle east region, a region right with conflict where the u.s. has previously been a moderating and balancing force. this is not going to be in the long-term interest of the u.s. troops or the american public to be taking the saudi foreign policy line. >> so now, vivian, we get rid of the secretary of state known for being a moderating force, who believes in climate change, he thinks we should honor it, and he believes we should honor the truce we have, the treaty with iran and try to force their nuclear ambitions. and we bring in tillerson, we get rid of him. we get rid of mcmaster and bring
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in john bolton. i -- this is -- this is bringing in toe joe. this is unbelievable, i'm sorry. sorry, general, your memory's there. i'm telling you, this is really bringing in a guy who is on the opposite side of moderation. >> well, one of the issues since day one of this administration was the fact that president trump himself was not very ideological. he has guys from all sides of the spectrum, so it was hard to get things done because he was getting opposing and conflicting advice from the adviser. and now we are starting to funnel some of these people out. and a lot of the moderates are being left out of this process. they're being, you know, pushed out the door. and you do have a lot more conservatives, a lot more hard-liners in the administration. we saw today, china, the tough talk on china. it's the same thing all across the board. >> joy, let's talk possible crazy.
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the same day that the train proposal cost the stock market over 700 points. it is getting scary, this is big time, it's not corrected, it's a problem he's creating himself. the same day he fires his top lawyer, john dowd, and forces out the national security adviser. what is he going for, total crazy in one day? why does he was so much noise in one day? >> this president has never following the rule book that we have seen from other white houses. sometimes we'll hear and we are back in the previous administrations we would hear rumors of a shake-up and wait -- we knew when they would announce it because it was on a day to distract from something else. and in this case, we're not sure which one trump is distracting from on any given day. maybe he doesn't want us to be talking about -- >> just throw all the toys in, i'm in, i'm getting rid of everything. it's extraordinary. i'm a little emotional about this because i've never seen a president behave like this in one day. vivian? >> we knew that h.r. mcmaster's days were numbered, we reported
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that here at msnbc. this is not necessarily that shocking. but we are hoar -- >> here. >> this is a trade move. he fires his lawyer and then fires the national security adviser within a matter of minutes. what is going on? >> this is a president that knows how to control the media narrative. and that is something we have seen time and time again as julia just said. and so he does, he plans a lot of these announcements. >> let's go to headlines now called war footing. the whole world is going to see it. just take a look at that guy. just put his picture on world newspapers. you don't have to say much more. thank you, vivian, joy, ainsley and general mccaffery. coming up, h.r. mcmaster out as national security adviser. john bolton calling the shots on war and peace. think about that when you go to bed tonight. plus, another major departure in the trump world today. trump's top lawer in the russian probe, john dowd has resigned, i think. what does this mean for the mueller investigation? he was pushed out.
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it's been a bad, wild world in trump world today and a wild day on wall street. as i mentioned, the stock market plummeted today amid fears of a trade war between the united states and china. the dow jones closed down 724 points in just one day. nearly 3% drop in one day after president trump announced what he will, that he will impose billions of dollars on chinese imports. china's threatened to retaliate. the dow is now on the edge of correction territory, that's putting it nicely. it's down nearly 10% from the all-time high back in january. we'll be right back after this with more of this breaking news tonight about the upheaval within the trump administration. this is something that i'm
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welcome back to "hardball." h.r. mcmaster's departure has
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overshadowed another departure today. "the new york times" said after nine months of representing the president on the russia probe, john dowd is resigning from the president's legal team. mr. dowd ultimately concluded that mr. trump was ignoring his advice, however the frustration was mutual. according to "the new york times," mr. trump was pleased of his resignation. this comes after the president butted heads with dowd on how to proceed with the russian probe. he had favored restraint, but trump's recent tweets indicated he would rather go on the offensive. dowd also advised the president not to speak to mueller's prosecutors, but trump said he wants to testify and reiterated his willingness to do that today. >> would you still like to testify before special counsel robert mueller, sir? >> i would like to. >> furthermore, nbc news is reporting the shake-up in president trump's legal team is part of preparations for a
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presidential interview with special counsel robert mueller. according to people familiar with the process. trump's recent decision to hire joseph degeneva who has con spear city thecy theories about backing the president's probe. joe digenova is expected to play a key role in discussions with mueller's office about a presidential interview. i'm joined by kim waley and democratic congressman eric swan of california who sits on the house intelligence committee and judiciary committee. i want to start with kim. part of this seems to be one rage, he goes hard-right on foreign policy with the ultra neo-con war hawk, john bolton. he fires dowd who is a containment guy and brings in joe digeneva. he loves the fighting of this game and has conspiracies about
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the deep state out to get trump. in other words, they are feeding trump's fever swamp of thinking. >> yeah, and it's really a problem. it's something that i think every american should worry about. because a good lawyer tells their client hard information. stuff they don't want to hear. and if he's letting go someone who has a reputation, who is well-respected and bringing in someone who will be aggressive, that doesn't necessarily mean representing him in a way that is in his best interest or certainly in the best interest of the country. and my concern is we're setting this up for, you know, getting rid of mueller, which would be a disaster, a constitutional crisis. >> congressman, i'm going to ask you something you don't want to do, a little psycho babble. what the hell is going be on with trump? he's like a kid throwing his toys, i want to get out of this playpen, i want ice cream, i want everything. i want my kind of lawyer that does what i want him to do. i want to be the lawyer. i want to be the chief of staff. we also got word today he was thinking of firing kelly because
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he wanted no chief of staff. it sounds like one situation with this guy in every direction. i want it my way, i don't like it your way. >> the problem is not the lawyer. clarence dero can save this guy, but the problem is a compliant. he's an overexposed client in terms of criminal liability. he should sit down in the chair, go through the examination and come clean with his relationship on russia and allow us to move on. he's just playing games right now and i think it's because he's afraid to get in the chair and what this bob mueller -- >> he doesn't want the lawyer who will put him in the chair. >> i don't buy it. >> you think that's a phony front. >> i don't buy it at all. he knows if he puts himself in that chair, they are not going to come at him unprepared. they will come at him with everything they have. >> do you think they have collusion, do you think they have it? >> i think he's on the hook for money laundering and what he knew about the efforts to work where russia. and he's on the hook for obstruction of justice. >> did he help them? >> i think the question is, did he -- did he help them because he owed them something?
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>> you think he did? >> i think he owed them something, witting or unwitting. >> did he deliver? >> they invested in him. >> did he deliver? >> oh, yeah, he's delivering and there's more goods to come for russia. >> let's talk about this from a client point of view. if you think you're a good guy, most people think they are a good person, you think you didn't do anything wrong the way you see it, you may find a lawyer who sees it your way, but you also find a lawyer who knew the law. one thing i remember from the nixon era, you may not like these guys, they didn't know they had broken the law, they were told they just committed obstruction of justice, buddy, and that's when lewis berg or the play to lift weights for two or three years, they knew then. >> but it is impossible to represent a client who makes conflicting statements, includes those not in his best interest, statements to support an obstruction of justice case, who doesn't tell the truth, who is not respectful of the rule of law, and again, i think it's a
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problem that whoever replaces him, digeneva or whoever else, is not one of the white-chew lawyers. >> that means those in a high-respected law firm. >> well respected for a reason. >> they are all working for mueller. >> another point of view with respect to the sit-down meeting could be that he's trying to make a case to the american public for ending the mueller investigation. we're attacking the fbi, we're saying that it's all a witch hunt and letting go of mccabe for reasons that john dowd actually connected with the russia probe somehow, which really doesn't make a lot of sense, but he could say, listen, i did my best. i said what i had to say and he's still after me. >> do you get a sense, congressman, he's letting the toys fire, he fires his chief of staff, he fires this lawyer, he fires the national security adviser, along with myself, i'll do it, i'm going to follow my it in psychological terms.
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i get the sense he's edging toward getting rid of mueller somehow. >> i do, too. >> i want my prosecutor in there. i want to pick him. >> but the problem is he has allies in congress. i don't get a sense that the republican leaders would object at all if he did that. the house republican intelligence numbers shut down our investigation -- >> i don't think mr. nunez will stop him. >> he re-tweeted the report essentially. so congress has looked the other way as far as the republican leaders who it's going to take to stand up to him. when it comes to john bolton, if congress doesn't want to go to war, now is the time to start putting restraints on this president. they have been giving him green lights all the way. there's been no effort at all by republican leadership to stand up. >> this may be the worst thing he's done. john bolton. mr. hawk. their kids do all the fighting and getting killed and losing their legs and everything else. he said to them, no more stupid wars. and now he brings in the godfather of stupid wars, john bolton. the congressman has been with
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us, thank you so much, eric swan. and kim, thank you. h.r. mcmaster is out as national security adviser. and nick christoph said trump is leading us down a dangerous path that he saw in the run-up to the war in iraq. this is "hardball." and your approval rating... goes here. test drive the ztrak z540r at your john deere dealer and learn why it's not how fast you mow, it's how well you mow fast. nothing runs like a deere. save 250 dollars when you test drive and buy a john deere residential z540r ztrak mower. if these packs have the same number of bladder leak pads, i bet you think bigger is better. actually, it's bulkier. always discreet quickly turns liquid to gel, for drier protection
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we must, as a nation, be more unpredictable. we are totally predictable. we tell everything. we're sending troops, we tell them. we're sending something else, we have a news conference. we have to be unpredictable. and we have to be unpredictable starting now. >> welcome back to "hardball." president trump said during the campaign he would be unpredictable on foreign policy, but with today's hiring of john bolton as national security adviser, it seems the president has done plenty of jumping around. >> for many years we've had this abuse with groups of countries trying to take advantage of the united states. this is one of the main reasons we're not going to let that
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happen. the iran deal is coming up. it's probably another month or so. and you can see what i do. but iran has not been treating that part of the world or the world itself appropriately. a lot of bad things are happening in iran. the deal is coming up in one month. and you will see what happens. we are going to see what happens with north korea. i will say, look, if something can happen while we negotiate, i'm always open to that. but if it's going to be something other than negotiation, believe me, we're ready, more so than we have ever been. >> although trump is planning to meet with north korean dictator kim jong-un, his past comments make it clear that diplomacy is not the only he's considering. new york times columnist nick christoph writes, i have a grim feeling in my belly, a bit like i had in the run-up to the iraq war, that we have a president who is leading us toward reckless, catastrophic conflict. trump's snap decision to accept
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kim's invitation to meet underscores the risk of a mercurial president leaping into actions, which is one of the reasons why with e got into the mess with iraq. nick is with us now, someone who has never read a book, never read anything serious in their life, listening to people pushing heavy theories like freedom agendas and the neoconservative movement. and people they never hung out with in college who were, whatever, nerds. and now he thinks they are geniuses. what do you think of the president who doesn't read now in the company of john bolton? what will they be like together? >> well, i had a grim feeling in my belly this morning, this evening, it's doubled down. and i think the risks of a war, of a shooting war with iran and north korea, are substantially greater than they were this morning. the combination of mike pompeo
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at the state department and john bolton as national security adviser i think underscores both that there will be pressure to choose military solutions, and also that trump himself, because he's made these choices, seems to prefer, perhaps, the military tool box to the diplomatic tool box. but boy, the dow lost 700 points today because it was concerned about a trade war. i think the markets were fully rational and they would lose more tomorrow because of bolton, the risk of a shooting war is substantially greater, chris. >> let's talk about trump and the way he behaves. when things aren't going his way in the hour, i mean, in the moment sometimes, he shakes things up. he has this amazing tendency to just shake things up, knock the cards off the table, he's playing monopoly, everything off the table. start over again, reset, he does it all the time. and he seems to do it with a thunder clap. today he did it with three thunder claps, with the trade thing, getting rid of his lawyer
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and now the nsa and ending up with john bolton, it seemed like he just wanted to shake things up. because in shaking things up every couple of minutes he gains control. what do you think of his behavior basically to who he is? >> i think that you're right and i do think it is one mistake that we in the journalism world make that we tend to be distract by the latest shiny object and trump has been pretty good about tossing shiny objects out to distract us. but i do think that john bolton is different. i really think this appointment is the most consequential news in a long time. i think it dramatically increases the risk that a lot of americans and koreans, perhaps japanese, end up dead. and this is -- you know, i think one framework to look at the trump administration, is there some things he can do that will be bad policies, will be unfortunate, but they will be correctable when the next president comes along. and there are some things he can do that will be catastrophic
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lasting. a war with iran or north korea is the epitome of something catastrophic that could not be undone. >> we'll talk about the train or chain of consequences if we kill the deal with iran. they resume their nuclear development, their weapons development, they move forward, whoever is in israel, the government of netanyahu, whoever is over there, is very understandably nervous. we get nervous, they are moving to nuclear weapons and look like they are going to use it. then we bomb them, i assume that's the next step that bolton has always been before, and then we have created an active war against iran and now it is up to iran how they react. i think we are putting our future in the hands of the at l ayatollahs at this point. >> i don't think he understands the iran deal. and the fact that we have a situation that is kind of working for right now. and trump and other critics of
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the iran deal are correct in that there are genuine concerns about the long-term and what follows and so on. but for right now, the deal is absolutely working. and the idea that one would shake that up and create a situation in which iran could then revert to its nuclear program, revive it, get the sent r ry huge s -- centrifuges going again. i should say, there's some possibility that iran will monitor the situation. and if the u.s. pulls out on may 12th, that's it's conceivable that it will continue to adhere to the deal, but i would say that's a long shot. and i think that there is just going to be a lot of temptation in tevran if we pull out and to say, we're going to revive our program as well and then all bets are off. >> look at the signs of the
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meeting, i mean, the former royal family going to pray at mecca and the crown prince having this cozy relationship with trump and the israelis, whatever they're doing under the table with the saudis, and all this setting up kind of an allian alliance, an active military alliance, perhaps a nuclear alliance against the iranians, assuming, anticipating this scam to go nuclear, so we have a nuclear standoff? >> one of the common threads in military history, ever since homer, has been overreliance on the military tool box and how successful it will be. that's a problem the greeks ran into with the trojans. it's a problem we ran into vietnam, in iraq, it's a problem the saudis ran into in yemen. they thought, okay, they are going to tidy this up. and i think it's a problem that the saudis and the americans and certainly john bolton have in terms of what we can do, vis-a-vis iran and vis-a-vis north korea. and there are a lot of messes, there are more problems in the
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field of international relations than there are solutions. and military tool box is expensive, it's lethal and it doesn't solve problems all that well as we have seen in both iraq and afghanistan. the idea we would take a situation that is more or less working in iran and then open pandora's box is just crazy. >> what do your colleagues around the world that write opinion columns in london and berlin around the world and paris, and in the far east, how are they going to react tomorrow and the next day to the appointment of john bolton? >> there has been some sense of, you know, a little whisper of reassurance in some foreign policy communities that there have been these grown ups in the room. that the secretary -- tillerson, secretary mattis, h.r. mcmaster, dee dena powell, some of these
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people earlier were restraining voices, voices of wisdom that president trump in the past has said some things regarding nato, things that indeed have not been followed through on them. but in the last few weeks, my colleagues around the world, the foreign leaders, have been truly scared by the proposition that the adults in the room are now being pushed out. and that some really belligerent, aggressive people responsible for some of america's worst mistakes in recent history are now being given the steering wheem. wheel. >> thank you very much, nick kristoff of the new york times. i read you all the time. and weighing in on the breaking news that is all bad, mcmasters is out as well as trump's top lawyer. he's firing everybody. you're watching "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball."
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we're back with tonight's breaking news. general h.r. mcmaster is leaving his role as national security adviser to be replaced by john bolton, the former ambassador to the u.n. mcmasters was a moderating voice on foreign policy which made for an uncomfortable fit with trump. "the new york times" reports their tensions seep into public view in february when general mcmasters said at a security conference in munich that in the russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was beyond dispute. the president attacking the credibility of the man investigating russia. special counsel robert mueller, could he be next? we'll bring in jonathan swan, political reporter for axios, heidi, correspondent for nbc news, and michael steele, an nbc political analyst. i want to start here and down the row. he is like a little kid angry at the day, upset, throwing his toys in the air. i don't like the way things are going. i'm getting rid of people, i want a whole new thing, i want
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to do my own legal defense. and the word even got out he wanted to get rid of general kelly, he didn't want a chief of staff, he wanted to be his own chief of staff a couple weeks ago, and now he's firing the national security adviser, bringing in a hawk to talk his language. it does seem like he's on the verge of doing anything he feels like, which means finding a way to get rid of mueller. >> he certainly has felt that he can get rid of people and he's tired of having people that he disagreed with. h.r. mcmaster disagreed with him on iran, trying to persuade him to stay in the iran deal. on north korea, they clashed at certain up points and you showed some of it there, but the interesting thing about john bolton, i love this. all the enemies of h.r. mcmaster on the outside who were trying to destroy him, they said he was a war among gore. who is the replacement? john bolton. a guy who is very
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interventionalist. >> and michael's laughing, they went looking for the worst neocon they could find, there are probably worse out there. >> those are your words, chris, not mine. >> i don't have to brand them. heidi? >> this is not just a temper tam run the. to your point, he's taking out the generals, the people who served in combat. mcmaster had a silver star for valor. he actually served in the gulf war. and replacing them with neocons who have never served. >> chicken hawks. >> yeah. and so, if you look, for example, in the not-to-distant past, bolton wrote an op-ed in "the wall street journal" arguing his case for the legal case for preemptive strike on north korea. making a very detailed case in history. >> he said stoog to go to war w iran, is he going to volunteer to fight? when you commit an act of war against the other countries,
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they go to war with you. >> bringing in the combination of pompeo and bolton could mark a significant shift in the foreign policy, that's for sure. >> is this the complete axis of the w. and all the zanyness. we have two left, north korea and iran. let's go to war with all of them. this sounds like the bolton plan to me. >> well, i think there's a little bit of going back a little bit, reaching back and trying to reset or correct the record from the past. in a sense that a lot of folks still feel that, at a certain point, bush pivoted off and away from the kind of advice that he was given. exactly, from dick cheney and those who supported that interventionalist policy. now with this president, gives them an opportunity to not only go back to those arguing, to those arguing points, but in terms of north korea in the future engagements, now they have someone to stay steady with
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him. >> did donald trump lie to us when he said no more stupid wars? everyone knew he was talking about iraq. why did he say no more stupid wars? >> remember, he was for the war before he was against it. he was against it before he was for it. >> the people in wisconsin and those places that got him to be president in the electoral college. they believed their kids wouldn't have to fight stupid wars. and here he is bringing in john bolton who wants to go to war with north korea, nobody wants a korean war. >> nobody wants a korean war. >> except bolton, maybe. >> i wouldn't prejudge this too quickly. let's just see how this -- >> you don't go by the words. >> yeah. that's clear in this instance, chris, because we're all over the map on what the words are saying. >> you're poised to say something. >> well, i saw a headline that bolton promises not to start any wars, literally. we just had that op-ed last week. or last month. the problem is that this is a position that is not senate confirmed. we know his past statements and what he's said. that's why you and very many
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people are alarmed. >> i know the history of these people. >> and he's a hawk on russia. so where does he stand now on russia? >> but there's something else here, chris. >> they took limited knowledge, not a bad guy, w., with limited knowledge, he didn't spend a lot of time studying anything, a business school guy. now another business school guy, not a lot of history in these guys' heads. takes a guy with no foundation to understand american history and what we stand for in the world, gets ahold of them, manipulates them, it's been done before, it's called the iraq war. i don't want bolton having control of the mind of john, of the president, because the president is not schooled in foreign policy. but bolton is and he will use it to drive a hard-line policy. >> but he's ahead of the national security team. that's a team of 17 other agencies and individuals who are also contributing to this conversation. so i don't think you should lose sight of that. and one other thing is important, bolton does complete something for trump that is important, he goes on tv.
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he's someone who can be out there and voice that. >> i've read 25 years of hawkish op-ed pieces in "the new york times" and "the wall street journal" and "washington post." they are one thing good at, they raise money for people like adelson and hire them to work nor the enterprise american institute. and they sit there and write op-ed pieces. it's a powerful voice and we knew where they stood, war, war, war. they have been absolutely consistent and this guy still is. this is trouble. john? >> the idea that he's just going to be another person on the national security team is just nonsense. he is going to be so forceful, h.r. mcmaster was a three-star and was sort of the little one to mattis. and mattis pushed him around a lot. john bolton is going to sit across the table and look at mattis and say, i don't care about your four-star, this is what we're doing. he's going to be a forceful figure. >> i don't know what you're basing that on in terms of engaging with these people. what are you basing that on? >> well, i would rather not say.
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>> i'm just saying, we'll wait to see how this plays itself out, but there are some other counter vailing forces to contend with as well. >> kelly is also resistant to bringing bolton on board. and i bring you back to the suicide the suicide pact. two of the three are gone. mattis the one left standing. we're not yed to friday. >> and kelly's not here for long, probably. the roundtable is sticking with us. you're watching "hardball." stay. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and. looking for a hotel that fits... whoooo. ...your budget? tripadvisor now searches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest
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price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor. 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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we're back with the "hardball" roundtable. tell me something i don't know. >> few details from the last few hours in the white house, from a source familiar with the events. president trump after meeting with bolton at 3:00, informed h.r. mcmaster by telephone of his decision. >> but they're in the same building? >> just telling you what i know. and the number of senior officials found out shortly after 5:00 p.m. >> still doesn't do it face-to-face. go ahead. >> house intelligence committee -- >> you're fired on television but not in person. >> house intelligence committee shuttered its investigation today, concluding they had found no evidence of collusion. we'll have a new report today reported on today showing they overlooked 81% of the known contacts between trump officials and the russians. >> nunes. don't know nothing. >> don't know nothing. >> despite all of the excitement of the breaking news, a little
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notice today was the administration said it would exempt the european union and four other allies. australia, argentina, south korea, and brazil from steel and aluminum tariffs. >> thank you, jonathan, heidi, michael. we'll be right back. not quite... just the result of dell emc working with callaway to gather data - and design best-in-class clubs, transforming the player into a bonafide golfer. oh! maybe it is a magic wand. magic can't make digital transformation happen... but we can. that's the power dell emc, part of dell technologies.
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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. thursday, march 22nd, 2018. it's been said a person who defends himself in court has a fool for a client.
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that said, enter stage right. president trump. even before replacing national security adviser h.r. mcmaster with john bolton, trump made unsettling news today, shoving aside john dowd overruling his counsel, not to sit down with special counsel robert mueller, basically grabbing hold of his own defense. donald trump has clearly decided to become his own attorney. he, not some legally trained lawyer, will decide on strategy, when to put himself in a perjury situation, the works. it's also reported he has been on the verge of deciding he does jtd need a chief of staff. he considered dumping general john kelly and replacing him with himself. donald j. trump. this decision to let dowd go and near decision to jettison general kelly opens an out of right field possibility. we're not just talking let trump be trump. we're talking let trump be trump's lawyer, let trump be trump's chief of staff. is this hard to imagine this is headed to the big one, let trump be trump's prosecutor. he decides to go all the way with his impulses and get rid of
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robert mueller? if not, you tell me who's going to stop him. who is still around to stop him? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. major breaking news that has a lot of people very worried. president trump naming john bolton, the former u.n. ambassador known for his extreme and inflexible foreign policy views to the most senior national security post inside the white house. trump tweeting a short time ago, i'm pleased to announce effective april 9th, 2018, ambassador john bolton will be my national security adviser. i'm very thankful for the service of general h.r. mcmaster who has done an outstanding job and will always remain my frebtd. there will be an official contact handover on 4/9. mcmaster was seen within the foreign policy establishment as someone who could potentially constrain some of t