tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 14, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
on the ground. "all in america". and before you go tomorrow is bob mueller's first day oprotting under the new attorney general and i'm going to speak tomorrow on "the beat." to someone who had a senior job with bob mueller and a retoured four-star general. that's it for tonight. up next its chris matthews "hardball." trump breaks the glass. let's play "hardball." ♪ facing a historic defeat, president trump is breaking the glass and pulling the fire larm. he gives him but a fraction of what he wants for his wall. he wants the president plans to
declare that a national emergency kbis exists on the southern border. thesont pasds this afternoon by a vote of -- but senate majority leader mitch mcconnell broke the news of the president's plans. >> i've just had an opportunity to speak with president trump and i would say to all of my colleagues has said he's prepared to sign the bill and he'll boo issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time and i've indicated to him that i'm going to support the national emergency declaration. >> the bill provides $1.4 billion for 55 miles of new fencing. well short of the 5.7 billion the president wants. they quote the white house had identified $2.7 billion in funds preevriously appropriated by congress that could be redirected as part of national
emergency. chuck schumer and nance a lohsy respond redeclaring the national emergency is a desperate attempt to detract from the fact that the president broke his promise to have mexico pay for the wall. in recent weeks members of the president's own part a have warned of the consequences. >> i don't think he should do that. i think it's a bad precedent . >> we've got to be very kaurful about endorsing raw uses of executive power. >> this would be anotherrosion of congressional authority. >> the real concern that i have is the precedent that this then sets. >> i think that's dubious from a constitutional perspective and i hope that the president will not go that route.
>> i'm joined by joy reed, host of "a.m. joy. kwats and national political reporter for "axios" and a former federal prosecutor. what do you hear when he's breaking the glass? he's shooting the moon, he says i can't get what i want from congress. to hell with them. i'm going to go steal the money from forest fewers or whatever i can find it. your thoughts? >>. >> a lot of us jump on the phone with republican sources and what i'm haring back is it's pretty straight forward. the people donald trump fears will take away support from him if he gets onjam, people like ann coulter, even sean hannity had already said the deal he was going to sign because they were not going to shut the government down again, that it's not enough. and so what you have is a president who fears looking
weak, fears being attacked by the ann coulter's of the world and he's decided to make a demonstration. a demonstration of his feelty to his promises. he's gooding to go all out because he feels he has to. >> ann coulter has guys i think waub withing around wall street carrying her books like machine guns. but she doesn't even have a job. why is she so scary. she's not on the air. how is the mere thought of heir tweeting something scare the bejesus of the president of the united states? he was calming down hannity, laura ingram, working with daubs. is he afraid mostly of ann coulter. is that what's come to, the president of the united states being led around by someone who wr writes books? >> good friend with sean hannity
literally working for him. soutserx troedinary that a president who can tell the base that he'sall r already building wall, doesn't have a sense of his own strength that he doesn't feel he can defy this media crowd. he thinks he has to show them he's doing the most. >> tomorrow morning people puck up the paper. headline president declares national emergency. tonight because ann coulter rang the bell, he broke the glass. >> he's tear fews of angering his base. i can imagine him being on the phone with lou daubs and sawing i have to do this but i will do this other thing. republicans were this close to getting out of it. this is a worst-case nightmare ske nair ye. this sets a damaging precedent. conservatives should know this.
i think lot of them understand what could happen with a democratic president who could do this on climate change, guns, health care, and it changes the political dynamic going forward. because he's afraid of losing this news cycle to hacks like sean hannity and ann coulter, he has set a precedent that will haunt the republican party for decades. >> jerry nadler of new york said in a statement i will fully support the enactment of a joint resolution to terminate the president's emergency declaration. and the committee will determ an supposed legal basis. tell me the steps that led the president to say i'm going to ring the bell, a national emergency like we're fighting missiles in cuba or something. >> i think what people need to
understand is how long this has been in the works. trump said to his then budget director i need you to find me money for this wall. he and they could see they weren't going to get what they wanted through congress. >> not from the mexicans and not from the congress, so he goes to nick mulvaney. >> they've been sifting through obscure pots ofmany for months now. they have a pectroom. there's oozy money on this end and really hard on this end. there's not that much ease a money. >> 2.7 billion. >> and trump's tabling about 23 billion. that's the number trump talks about. >> where does he find that? >> exact la. >> if it comes from the mill tar, he's goehaving to a public relations outcry. >> the congress controls the purse strings.
but they control where the money comes from and where it goes. are they going to lay down on this? >> no. there are so many legal issues here. this is like a job program for constitutional lawyers. is there actually a national emergency. it sounds like an unforeseen crisis. this is something we've known about for years and in the last ten years undocumented border crossings have gone down but the main issue is where does the money come from? so when the president declares a national emergency, he unleashes all these other laws. the president can have this pow power if there is some crisis. but the mun has to be tied to one of the specific wlaus. it's not clear which of those emergency powers correlates to guving t giving the president the right to take money. >> joy, the democrats are not going to like this.
we heard from jar a nadler in new york where you are. i assume from senter to the left is not going to like it. are the republicans going to show bone and stop this? some spine? >> no. mitch mcconnell can see matt bevan in his rearview mirror who's one state wide in kentucky decides to give himself an upgrade like rick scott in florida. he's got a problem. i can't believe inside their republican hearts they believe this is a good idea. nancy pelosi got up today and said go ahead and do it because a president with different values might believe climate change or gun violence is a national emergency. fror you have now opened the door. harry truman tried to sooz a steel mill and a war was going on. it's not as if presidents can
even get away with it in that situation. the riality is congress is going to act. nancy pelosi will take the action that the speaker has a right to da. it's going to leave mitch mcconnell the supposedly kaungs tulgz conservatives in a real awkward position when they're arguing a president can use these powers, vast powers to seize money and this is going to unfold the same weekend people are watching "60 minutes" where the former deputy fbi director is saying i was sitting across from a man who just won a presidency with the help of a foreign power. do you want to -- >> thanks for promoting us. the democrats for the segregation party up in'60s and republicans picked that up with nixon in 1968.
so they change parties and dance once with in a while. but limited government is a fundamental republican principal. you can't go after guns and part of it among moderate republicans is abortion rights too. you can't have a government that big to ban abortion. i believe i dont want a government capable of doing all the things people want done because that's a terrible country to live un. how can they give a president this kind of authority? >> they can't. the default is they're going to cave in because they don't want to get crossways with donald trump. but this is a fundamental principal if they don't vote overturn this, then they effectbively surrender in the parto of limited government. theso thesont senate will have to have an up or down vote. mcconnell only has a certain amount of time on the law. all of these guys are go having to to go on the record.
when people begin to find out where the money came from, that is a ticking time bomb. >> why did he say mr. president, i'm not going to support this is a national emergency, i don't like people crossing the border illegally. they've been doing it for years. this is not an emergency. is this part of the deal? >> my understanding is there was no ultimatum. the president wanted to whether there was any language that would prevent him from doing an emergency but mitch mcconnell did not lay down an ultimatum. >> they've not been all that active in regulating these orders. there are 13 national emergencies going on right now and they're supposed to expire a year and congress is supposed to consider them every six months and they never do that. >> that's a sad fact. john cornyn who was whip a
couple of months ago. here was his warning, feebl as it was. >> i think it's a dangerous step, one because precedent it sets. two, the president's going to get sued and it succeed in accomplishing his goal and third, because i think ms. pelosi may well introduce her resolution of disapproval that will pass the house and come over here and divide republicans. so to me, strikes me as a not good strategy. >> there's one of the few civil minded republicans. today peloeszy, did not commit to filing a legal challenge but says she's reviewing options. i think she's got to take this on. >> she will and then of course there's the litigation in courts. >> who's got standing to -- >> that's the question. >> it's not clear.
so if trump takes property, private property, that's imminent domain. so that's a lawsuit. but there's questions who does have standing? >> you're also the government of private property. the amount of private property that will have to be soseized. the it worst case scenario for republicans is if they win and the courts establish a precedent giving the president this kind of power toover ride congress and take -- >> nancy pelosi did say something. you raised the point. she says what happens if we get a democrat, a progressive activist president who says we got a second amendment but i'm going to declare a national emergency, we're going to start pick ugup the guns and start getting really aggressive on gun safety? real a aggressive? >> president obama's speech
writer says i look forward to the day when the progressive president declare as climate emergency, a gun epidemic emergency, you could list the issues, health care emergency. this gets to the point of precedent >> turn up your air conditioning at sun up. i can see a lot of grand green ideas but they're going to be challenged. >> there are lawyers concerned about this and quick in sending this message to the white house. >> let's talk about the politics, left, right, the whole thing. democrats had the biggest land slide i believe in off year midterm lections ever. they got to use it. >> and you've already seen democrats use that power to buk funding for the war in yemen. who should be determining what wars we're un. nancy pelosi says in the constitution it says the house of representatives. you want to elect beto o'rourke
to cornyn's seat, start holding land. because the amount of land you would have to take to start building a wall is in texas. you're talking about nottive american tribes who have said they're already going to court if they try to talk their land. the public land donald trump controls through the government is in california. you're talking about playing out the wall strategy. how is that going to play when the state that gets the biggest pain, the most private land seergss, that puts all american ranchers in court against the federal government in texas, go ahead and do that, he'll elect beto o'rourke. >> i don't think land development does very well -- we're going down to the border. we're going to see what's this trump emergency all about. is it really by any definition an emergency and republicans
were outraged when president obama used executive orders to get what he wanted. how is this not an even bigger reach of executive power? plus a bomb shell claim, former fbi director, andrew mccabe says the high level meetings were held about removing this president, the president you're looking at because of incapacity, like mental capacity. they were trying to figure out what members cabinet would dump this guy when they thought he was an agent of russia. thought was an agent of russia ♪ your grace. your majesty. your king. a legacy of leaders, speeders and serpent feeders. the alfa romeo giulia, stelvio and c37.
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dup into the 2.4 billion alcaughted to projicts in california including flood prevention and protection. and calling back the -- redeploying many to help with wild fire prevention. the governor called the trump emergency a manufactured crisis. live from san diego. you're there, we're not. is there a crisis? >> reporter: that's what we've been asking people along the border. we've travelled one side of the border to the other for the most part the over whming response is there's no crisis. however, california is a little different. they say life seems pretty normal. they haven't seen an uptick on activity. at least most of the people we've talked to. however, they do say they're used to seeing a fence a wall. you've got to remember most of california is covered by a
fence. so this is something they've seen over a dk aud. if you ask leaders in places like san diego, they say there is a crisis because of an uptick in people that are crossing as part of the migrant caravan or coming over to claim asylum. they're saying thing started to get hair a in october when the feder federal government ended a program that took care of migran migrants after they were released. and the count ea bord of supervisors is saying that's going to costthem about $5 million in things like medical kaur, transportation, shelter, things like that. they're considering suing the trump administration. >> tell me about the wall thor fence behind you. is that a formidable obstacle for people as it is right now? >> reporter: so there's a lot to
talk about here. this fence and then there's another fence on the ridge you can see. this is no longer necessarily a darling of the border patrol. they say this is a pretty easily breachable fnls. fence. you can do it with a saw or implement you can get at your local home depo. and however, what you see up there. that is the wall -- the fence wall that thaw want to build and that's a whole different structure. they say that's much more difficult to penetrate. here unsan diego a lot of this part of the border is protected by two fences. and this right here with the wire is the secondary fence. they're hoping to replace all of this secondary fence, this mesh fence with the bowlered style fencing you see right there and
this would be the second fence and this would be 30 feet tall. >> i guess the question is the word crisis. do they see an uptick where this can't be ledge slotted this, they can't be debating this in congress, its to the be done by the all-powerful president? >> reporter: from the people that live in this area, no, not nes sarl. but they will say for example there's a guy that lives down here. it's a ranch. this is called smuggler's gullch. for centuries people would smuggle things he from mexico to the united states. he says there's no crisis but says that's because his idea of a crisis is what they saw in the 1990s, early 2000s where there would be thousands and thousands right through his yard. i said why isn't this a crisis anymore and heicize it's because of this fence.
>> i remember seeing on cameras for years people crossing the boarder. let's look at the interview because it's about this. >> it's hard to make a rational case for an emergency declaration or troops on the border or any amount of additional border walls or fencing. even if it's only one and 1/4. the border has never bun as sauf and secure as it is now. >> on tonight at 8:00. a big show on msnbc. and thanks for your on site reporting. very accurate i think, thank you. live from el paso, texas. joined by gaddy and other correspondence for an unprecedented look at what's happening on our southern border. and more of that interview like
are you running for president? and former acting director, mccabe. this would normally boo our number one topic. the president incapable offing as president. that's what they were thinking of in the fbi, utilizing the 25th amendment. we're back after this. we're back after this. i switched to liberty mutual because they let me customize my insurance, and as a fitness junkie, i customize everything. like my bike and my calves. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need.
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there's news today that justice department ofulgss considered whether donald trump should be removed under the 25th amendment. do you believe it? one of the revelations by a book by andrew mccabe. he served as the number two that fbi until the spring of 2017 when he was abruptly elevated to the top job upon firing of james comey and now in an interview airing this coming weekend on "60 minutes" he describes the panic following his decision. between comey's fewering and the appointment of mueller, the justi justice department officials were so concerned they discussed watz to invoke the 25th amendment and that says the vice president and the mow jrt of the cabinet are say he's unable to hold office.
revealing he opened the obstruction probe and counterintelligence investigation of the president. >> how long was it after that that you decided to start the obstruction of justice and counterintelligencings haves involving the president? >> i think the next day i met with the team having the russia cases and i asked the team to go back and conduct an assessment to determine where are we with these efforts and what steps do we need take going forward? i was concerned i was able to put the russia case on solid ground that were i removed or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace. >> you feared they would be mod to go away? >> that's exactly right. >> i'm joined by democratic
congressman ted lou and congressman, this is a fred forsythe novel or sthung like that. first, he thinks the president might bea russian agent. then the president fires komy to protect himself. they're talking 25th amendment, which cabinet members cougt to. this is scary information we're gettic now. >> let me first say today we had the funeral services for two american hero os, john dingell and walter jones. my prayers. to your question, it is alarming what andrew mccabe is saying. but i'm not all that spruzed. they're looking at what we're all looking at, a president
acting strange towards russia. it's not as if it's not something a lot of people were talking about and it's behashta for a long time. >> we got a president that mouth be working for moscow and he fires the fbi director investigating h investigating him on that issue and they go is this president out of control? and getting a majority of cabinet members to yank him as uncopable of service as president. >> it's interesting, complicated and my experience with mccabe, he was a very smart, dedicated, meticulous fbi agent and so i think his version needs to be taken sooriously. but as the story goes this was a conversation that took aplace across the street. and it
involved, as mccabe is tell it, senior doj officials, none whom seem to be corroborating his version of events. it's going to take further explaining by mr. mccabe to expose who was there, what was said and what the impact, if any was. >> what's your mmemory of the firing of come a and how it resonated through infbi and justice department at the time it happened? >> it was a shock there was certain amount of confusion as to what might happen next, what could happen next. it was a very unsettled period of time. i would also say it was not something the fbi was going through in a vacuum. the fbi works very, very closely with main justice and reports 92 deputy attorneygeneral. so as unsettled as things were,
it was, for the most part, in my memory a joint effort between the buildings as to how to manage the crisis and how to deal with the aftermath. >> well, in exrpt, he -- mccabe that trump said i received hundreds of messages from fbi people how happy they are that i fired him. but according to mccabe you would sigh people crowding in hallways, even crying. the president was upset comey was allowed to fly home on a government plane after he fired hum. the president saying that's not right. i dont approve of that. the president asked about mccabe's wife who had lost a race to congress and trump said yeah, that must have been real a tough to lose, to be a loser.
i don't know. year going to find out more but i trust mccabe on this. he is unconversations talking about the 25th amendment, the president being incapable of being president. >> if you read the department of justice statement, it's very carefully worded. it looks like one of those nondenial, denials and he doesn't deny saying those words. what they're saying is they believed he had no basis for it. that's different. he wrote down memos of his conversation with the president and by the way the phone call itself was inappropriate, because he should not call mccabe to see if high would with justify firing comey because that could be a crime and seem like he was trying to influence mccabe that it was okay. >> that unbelievable funeral for
john dingell today. thank you for mensing that tonight. they found mccabe lacked candor, he was fired just days before he bebecame eligible for his retirement benefits and now his decision to go public, eliciting a new round of criticism from president trump. and disgraced fbi director andrew mccake pretnds to be a poor little angel, when unfact he was a big part of the crooked hillary scandal. mccabe is a disgrace to the fbi and our country. vicious stuff. vicious stuff from the president. >> in my experience with mccabe he was a very dedicated agent who did his best to do his job as best he could. i willt tell you these continuig
attacks by the president on the doj and fbi are bizarre to say the least. and one other thing high referenced several fbi senior brass being fired or forced to leave as a result of miss college duct. let me remind everybody that unfortunately for him, mccabe was the only senior fbi official fired in the last couple of years. there was no mass firing or successful effort by it doj or the white house to force anybody else out. it was just mccabe. so this narrative we see from the right that somehow there's been this massive house cleaning at the fbi based upon misconduct with respect to the clinton investigation and/or the russian investigation, it's not true. >> thanks to have you on for your exper tees.
call or visit . welcome back to "hardball." president trump's decision to declare a national emergency over the wall brings up questions whether it's in his constitutional authority. in his preev -- they criticized president obama for executive over reach. >> it's an unbelievable over reach. a matter of tremendous import and it's an affront to the legislative process. >> his actions violated the rule of law in the united stateof th. dont take my word for it. >> this administration has been the most lawless administration we've ever seen and this
president run toly disregards the constitution, the collegeress. >> we did not elect a dictator. we elected a president. >> it's on presidents to rise above the kind of partisan temptations that tend to emerge. >> you'll never guess what donald trump said about president obama in 2014. lots of hypocrisy on display. oy
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welcome back to "hardball." president is planning to declare a national emergency after he was unable to get the border wall funding he wanted from the congress. in 2014 he tweeted they must not allow president obama to subvert the constitution of the united states for his own benefit just because he's not able to get what he wanted from congress. that's his words. i want to start with gene because you're a man of amazing breadth of experience. this malarkey, this president said don't ever exceed what you'reolog slated by congress, you go out the money but they make the decisions. >> but we live in an era where what you said before apparently doesn't matter at all and so he'll go ahead and do it because
it's expedeiant. he couldn't negotiate a deal. he had two years. but he had told republicans had total control of the house and theso the senate the white house. he tried to get it from democrats at the house and he couldn't do that. so it's an -- >> let me ask congressman ryan, who's a smart guy tox plain the behavior of both parties. pelosi, i'm not sure if she's gooding to do anything. will she take action here and stop this president in his tracks for exceeding his authority as president? will she? >> i don't know if she will. she may but for sure this is going to get gummed up in the courts and i think the way to look at this, crhris is he's go to protect his right flank.
he got beat up in the compromise we had four or five weeks ago and got blasted by the talk show circuits and he back pedalled and this is a way for him to say i'm taking decisive action, i'm doing the national emergency. it's going to get gummed up in the courts at some point and whether speaker lohsy does that or not i dont know but that's his insurance policy to tell the right who's doing something strong and broeold to get the w. >> what about the republican party that's been around since lincoln -- well, limited government, we don't believe the president should be eaing can. king. and along comes this guy and they just salute? >> i've anything like it. talk about republicans getting in line. you played the clips.
hypocrisy is the ord orof the day today. i don't know what we're going to do about it other than highlight it. i think that's what the american people are sick of. you were against budget deficits three months ago and now all the sudden -- it's insane. wheth it's executive power or -- they've bun all over the board. and i think it's an opportunity for democrats to provide a little stability. >> one thing thdemocrats and nay pelosi can do is bring up her disapproval of this emergency declaration that would pass the house and theso senate would ha to bring it up. they don't have a choice. and so those that went against obama and all his executive actions have to say it's okay or it's not.
>> you pointed out that republicans used to believe in fiscal responsibility and now they just passed a trillion and a half dollar tax cut. there's a small number of people that been if thes. so it's not like it was a popular crusade and they got away with it. they said let's go have a signing saur mon a. why are we electing senators on the republican side? what role do they play? i'm hoping the democrats challenge this president. gene said they might. >> they've abdicated their duty. my hope is we can turn a page. we have a responsibility obviously as created by article one of the constitution and provieweding over site and checks to the executive branch, we have a lot of responsibility, but i hope we as democrats get back on theicnomic messages. we just had a report the top
wealthiest 400 people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million people. that's the message for democrats. that economy is not working for people. and we got to get back on this economic message. federal workers who had stable jobs compared to most couldn't miss one paycheck and things were starting to unravel. they're going in a food line to get food for their families. we've got to get back on theicnomic message because that's message for us. >> that's why they have gates arund their houses so people can't see how much they've got. the approval rating dropped to 37%, it has shot back up to 34. i take pride unmy ability to predict it would go to 44. for whatever reason, his crowd expands like an accordian. has widened itself again because
they like that show he put on in the state of the union. >> i agreed the state of the union would do him political good. his graphic section on abortion, which i think reminded the pro-life community that he is at least nominally, at least in terms of his rhetoric, pro life. and sort of regalvanize that issue along with governor northam's comments and other things going on oaround abortion. i thought that alone would give him a but of a boost and maybe the rest of the speech gave hame boost too. it's only 34 for 47. >> but 44 is enough to be in fighting shape. it looks to me if he ecan hold mid-40s and knock the block off whoever who's running against issall was his strategy.
he's never going to be a popular president and go to war intimidation tactics. is there anybody that can get morthan 50% against him? that's a tough question. but i give to you, sir. >> i appreciate it, chris. i think we have a couple. the econnie's going to have lot to do with this next message. any candidate is going to be strong on thesis these issues w regard to women's choice, all of those issues. and it's going to come down to michigan, wisconsin, how hoy. hew do we do in western p.a.? and if the economy softens those people are going to be looking to come back them to democrats and woo better have an agenda for them to come back home.
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the president's been out there yelling about an emergency on the southern border. threatening to harm us. but how about this. why has he done nothing about the violent shooting deaths that plague this country? if he hates violence so much that he wants to build a wall against it, why does he show so little against the gun vile that's an endemic in this country. >> you want to talk about a national emergency? let's talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in america. that's a national emergency. why don't you declare that emergency, mr. president? >> pelosi used the opportunity to remind everyone of the enemy within. the raging gun violence that no other country in the world can match.
but her immediate point is if you give one president power like this, anering will come along and use it in ways you cannot imagine. the way to address is through debate and are spect for the constitution. "all in" with chris hayes with a special report live from the border. the president of the united states is going to declare a national emergency on our southern border. but i have to tell you it doesn't look like an emergency from where i'm standing. in el paso, texas over looking the city of juarez, mexico. covering all 2,000 miles of our southern border. we keep talking about this border like it's one thing. like it's one place. like it's a national crisis. >> this is a tremendoucr