tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 29, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
that does it for me. rest easy. ari will be back tomorrow. catch me mornings on 1st look at 5:00 a.m. eastern. haf "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. charm offensive. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight, the president of the united states continues to disown and insult america's cities. trump's latest target, baltimore. charm city to its proud citizens. and insulting baltimore as a rat-infested mess, trump is making racial division a core element of his re-election campaign. and today he continued his incendiary attacks on yet
another prominent elected official of color, baltimore's elijah cummings, chairman of the house oversight committee. in an early morning tweet saturday, trump blasted cummings' criticism of the treatment of migrant children at the southern borders saying his baltimore district is far worse and more dangerous. the president called cummings' district a disgusting rat and rodent-infested mess, adding if he spent more time in baltimore, maybe he would help clean up the very dangerous and filthy place. the president later stated no human being would want to live there. he's talking about baltimore. he also shrugged off criticism that his own attack was racist tweeting, if racist elijah cummings would focus more of his energy helping the good people of his district and baltimore himself, perhaps progress could be made to fix the mess that he has helped to create. the latest attack comes less than two weeks after president trump tweeted four congresswomen, three of them born in the usa should go back
to the crime-infested countries they came from. "the baltimore sun" responded in a scathing editorial headline, "it's better to have a few rats than to be one." writing, "mr. trump sees attacking african-american members of congress as good politics. as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don't to scream." but after a weekend of targeting cummings and baltimore, trump expanded his attacks this morning to the reverend al sharpton, founder of the national action network, of course, and my colleague ahead of a press conference by civil rights activists in baltimore. the president wrote al is a con man, a trouble making, always looking for a score. adding he hates whites and cops. reverend al sharpton, president of the action network and host of "politicsnation" and my colleague here on msnbc is here now. you are in the crossfire. you may be in the crosshairs. what do you make of that,
reverend? he's given you a platform to talk to the president of the united states on equal ground right now. because that's where he's gone. >> i think what he is clearly doing is decided that he's going to have a race-based campaign by going after high-profile blacks and others of color. certainly by calling elijah cummings a racist then all of a sudden i hate whites. yet he says he's been knowing me 25 years. he's come to national action network's conventions. even though we've disagreed with him. it shows a lack of intelect that he calls everybody a racist from elijah cummings to me to the squad as they're squad, they're anti-semites. and you really have to ask yourself, is this the kind of conduct we expect out of the president of the united states? if the president really felt that elijah cummings was a racist, he would say how. if he really thought i was a racist then why did he come to
my conventions? why did he call me after he won the election and invite me to meet with him? so i think that we really have to resist taking the bait and really raise the issues that we continue to raise on income inequality and health care and the things that matter to americans, which is why the former republican chairman michael steele and i were in baltimore today talking about the erosion of black home ownership. we were there trying to take care of things that the president ought to be concerned about, rather than trying to name-call elijah cummings, me, or anyone else. >> well, in his testimony before congressman cummings, trump's former lawyer michael cohen testified to what he swore under oath the president's private comments about african-americans and cities. here it goes. >> mr. trump is a racist. he once asked me if i could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a [ bleep ]. this was when barack obama was president of the united states. and while we were once driving
through a struggling neighborhood in chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. and he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. >> why do you think he wants a political race war? >> i think that he really doesn't know any other way. you know, for many years we fought him from central park five where he tried to get the death penalty for five young black and brown men that were prawn innocent all the way to his own discrimination and people kept saying, well, give him the benefit of the doubt. you know i toured with newt gingrich and others that i've disagreed with, but it was never this kind of racial rancor back and forward. for his own lawyer, who set up meetings with me and trump, to say he was a racist and what he would say in private shows that at his core this is how he feels about people of color, particularly blacks, and the way he tries to fight back is accuse
us of things that he himself has a deep-seeded feeling for. remember now, chris, we had a shooting last night at a festival. he wakes up this morning and he deals with attacking me rather than dealing with the shooting. we need a president that's going to be responsive to the needs of the people in this country and not this demagoguery. >> when we grew up, you and i -- i'm a bit older than you, but i remember it. maybe not as vividly as you. george wallace of alabama. he would hedge his language. he would talk about pointy-headed bureaucrats with attache. this guy is personal. he calls people by name. >> very personal. >> he gets african-american people. he names them the squad. the knows their names. he calls them out. who is he trying to get to like him with this stuff? >> i think he underestimates the
intelligence of the american people i think that many independent voters and moderate voters even in the republican party are not going to go for this, but he feels if he causes this racial divide that he can stack up enough electoral votes to win and i think he's going to see a massive resistance in that. every black with a high profile is not a racist. donald trump is not a race. to disagree with him does not make you a racist. it means you disagree with donald trump. and i think that people are smart enough and intelligent enough to know that. >> well, a man who thought the same thing was frank rizzo, the former mayor of philadelphia when i grew up. you know what he did? he escalated the black registration beyond the white registration. there are many blacks registered he's finished. maybe trump will do the same thing. the best registrar of black people in history. perhaps in a perverse way.
what do you think? >> i think america will reject him even in a good economy because rather than govern he is too busy demagoguing and trying to scapegoat people for his own lack of ability to really bring the country together and deal with things that are real and continue a wave that barack obama had brought this country on. >> my colleague, it's an honor to have you on, sir. thank you, reverend al sharpton. >> thank you, chris. >> on the defense. which is a good place to be with trump. be on the defensive. >> only defense -- the only defense against donald trump is stay on offense. he's got the right one. if he wants to fight, he can come to me first any time. >> and not just for lunch. anyway, thank you, reverend. anyway, the president's aides reportedly see an advantage in the racially divisive attacks that started with his assault on the four progressive congresswomen known as the squad. telling them to go back to their countries, wherever that was supposed to be. according to "the washington post," trump's advisers
concluded after the previous tweets attacking those four congresswomen that the overall message sent by such attacks is good for the president among his political base. resonating strongly with the white working-class voters he needs to win re-election in 2020. joining me right now is analyze that thought, eli stokols, white house reporter for "the los angeles times," dawn edwards, former maryland congresswoman and "washington post" contributing columnist. donna, your articles are great. i want to know what you think about trump, just numerically. look, there are a lot of racial problems in this country to this day. they won't go away in our lifetime but i don't think many suburban people want to be known as racists. working people don't want to be known as racist. >> well, i agree with that and i think the president has wrongly calculated, but, frankly, it's his own calculation that his pathway to victory is to rally his -- his base to do the race baiting in the hopes that that will gin them up and that will be his pathway to victory. it's actually a big mistake.
one, those suburban voters, but there was really low voter turnout in detroit and in milwaukee. >> and philly. >> racine. >> a little better. we both watched "meet the press" yesterday. who are you kidding? >> he's going to end up energizing black voters, people of color all across the country who are opposed to this president. and suburban voters, college educated voters, middle-class working people, this is not their game. they're concerned about the economy, their pocketbooks, but not about this. so he's made a really foul calculation. >> eli, what about the white house staffers who say they think he knows what he's doing? i have a feeling they're just covering him. >> look at what happened today and you get a sense they are trying to course correct in a big way. this afternoon, 2:00, what do you know? an unscheduled event with inner city pastors at the white house. that was not on the schedule earlier in the week. just a couple of hours ago trump is tweeting his praise for a candidate in kentucky, attorney general candidate, happens to be
african-american. i mean, you know, and he addressed yesterday morning in the tweet the allegation that this is racist. he said it's not racist to basically said what i said, but he's aware of this. he's obviously been told that this has gone too far. this has touched a nerve. but yet at the same time, you know, he's trying to have it both ways. he's not going to apologize as we've seen all day. he's doubled down and tripled down with what he says, not just about representative cummings, but about reverend sharpton. he's going on and on. he's not going to admit he's wrong on this, again, he does believe he has to animate that base, especially when it's not clear if you're delivered for them economically the way that for generations white politicians have rallied white voters is to play that race card and drive that wedge. >> there is always a limit. you run out of them. there is not enough of those angry people. anyway, president trump's use of the word infested to describe congressman cummings' baltimore district is a pattern that he
uses only to refer to minority communities. ever since john lewis said trump was not a legitimate president trump said he should "spend more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime infested." he later added that lewis should focus on the "burning and crime-infested cities of the u.s.." his initial tweet attacking the four congresswomen of color, he told them to go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. in an interview sunday, mick mulvaney was asked about the president's rhetoric, his word usage. let's watch. >> infested. it sounds like vermin. it sounds subhuman. and these are all six members of congress who are people of color. >> i think you're spending way too much time reading between the lines. >> i'm not reading between the lines, i'm reading the lines. >> good for chris wallace. i'm reading the lines. infested, infested, infested.
it's a word. it's vermin. it's a hitlerian term. he's obsessed with this thing about cities. >> this is the nazi playbook, right? you dehumanize people. you say they're infested. it gives you the reason to, i don't know -- >> exterminate them or something like that. >> and i think that this is, again, his way -- and he's done it for every single one of these cities and what many of these cities have in common is a majority african-american population. in some cases african-american leadership. and he goes -- he goes after them. >> you know what i was thinking about? maybe i'm broadening this and letting trump off the hook for a second, but my producers think so. i don't think so. people like to live in cities. my kids love to live in cities. they love to live in diverse neighborhoods. they call them gritty. even formerly still black neighborhoods. i like living there. it's gritty.
it's real. people with money go back into the cities, empty nesters do. he seems to be attacking the whole metropolitan notion of living together. i'm serious. >> it's one of the reasons he won. there is an alienation in so many places that people have left. jobs have migrated to the cities. so you can understand why trump has appeal in places that are not urban, places that have seen the population move away, but i just think if you step back from it -- >> you mean the inner suburbs? >> and the industrial parts of the country in a lot of the states that he won. people were surprised that he won. but what's remarkable is just looking at a president who makes explicit that he doesn't think that he's president of the entire country. >> yeah. >> he is pitting people and regions and subgroups against one another all the time. >> but vividly. >> it's remarkable to hear him say that that congressman should fix baltimore, that they should worry about that. he's the president of the united states, but he doesn't travel to all the places. >> no infrastructure. >> he doesn't spoo engine eak ts
of the people. >> he hasn't done anything with the cities. he was going to rebuild jfk, laguardia, lax, all these hot subways and stuff. >> and also do things that would not just benefit cities but rural areas as well, investing in infrastructure. the president has completely abandoned that and he's decided that his playbook for 2020 is going to be a race playbook. >> i got advice for mr. president, which i freely give on this program publicly. as david garth, the great political consultant, democrat from new york once said, replace the smell of decay with the smell of construction. build. people will like you. of all colors and all parties if you build. thank you, eli stokols, thank you, donna edwards. coming up, the silence is deafening, republicans have almost nothing to say on trump's attacks on a congressman of color, elijah cummings, actually very popular in the united states congress. do you think their voters like this stuff and are they right? plus, the director of national intelligence supposed to be someone who tells the president what he needs to hear
not what he wants to hear and now the president is nominating one of his biggest cheerleaders to that job. a new poll shows biden and warren getting stronger, especially biden. my thoughts on how that should affect their strategies for this week's big debates. much more ahead. stay with us. stay with us ♪ limu emu & doug mmm, exactly! liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice! but uh, what's up with your partner? oh! we just spend all day telling everyone how we customize car insurance because no two people are alike, so... limu gets a little confused when he sees another bird that looks exactly like him. ya... he'll figure it out. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ our mission is to provide complete, balanced nutrition for strength and energy! whoo-hoo! great-tasting ensure. with nine grams of protein and twenty-six vitamins and minerals. ensure, for strength and energy.
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump spent the weekend trashing another american city, as i said, this time baltimore. but does he choose minority communities to pick on? you tell me. by the way, even when trump says his worst, all his fellow republicans do is shrug or hide. >> no human being would want to live there. >> when donald trump attacks people -- >> this is being perceived as racist. do you understand why? >> i understand why but that doesn't mean that it's racist. >> you condemned the "go back" tweets but you do not condemn these tweets by the president? >> i wouldn't be doing those.
i wouldn't be tweeting this way, but i think they are different. >> that justified a racial resentment tweet in response? is that presidential leadership? well, look, i didn't -- i didn't do the tweets, chuck. i can't talk about why he did what he did. >> that was a lot of sound effects before the answer, wasn't it? there is a good explanation for all of this, of course. according to "the washington post" the trump campaign and republican officials are looking to use this kind of rhetoric to tissue bow charge enthusiasm and republicans have to go along with it. find ways to fuse trump's nativist rhetoric with a love it or leave it appeal to patriotism ahead of the 2020 election while seeking to avoid the overtly racist language. they're not doing that too well. i'm joined by eugene robinson and michael steele, former spokesman to house speaker john boehner. michael, i do not think these
are subtle and they're direct and ethnic. racial, if you will. why is trump doing it? >> trump is doing it because he has one election left and the only way to win that election is to recreate the narrow path by ginning up outstanding support, oversupport, unprecedented support among older white voters in the industrial midwest states. he believes these attacks, these politics of resentment does that. the problem for the rest of the gop is two-fold. one, they're getting viv sected on national television trying to defend this stuff when it's indefensible. they have to win elections after 2020. >> is trump the only guy that can get away with this kind of talk? >> of course. >> why does he get away with it? >> trump is massively popular with the base of the republican party. that's not changing. so the reality that these other elected republicans deal with. >> gene, your cold assessment? >> kind of domestic real public or whatever. it's astounding, really.
where are these principled republicans? we were told there were a few left. you know, mitt romney, for example. >> yeah. >> and, you know, why don't we -- what would it cost them to come out and say, mitt romney in utah, they don't like trump that much in utah, do they? >> what about the republican problem of running up -- driving up the inner city african-american vote especially. liberal. >> sure. >> because they don't like this stuff. the net effect could be negative. >> well, and that's the gamble they're making. if you look at the results in the 2016 election, there was the overperformance by trump in the rural areas and secretary clinton didn't equal the numbers that president obama got. >> who could? but the other problem is i think there is a lot of anti-hillary attitude in the suburbs. no hillary runs this time. >> there is no hillary running. so you take away the anti-hillary attitude in the suburbs and you factor in the fact that most people, most white people i know in the suburbs don't like to be thought
of as racist. >> that's right. >> of course not. >> they ctut tut. oh, not me. anyway, either way they don't want to be racist. let's face it. congressman cummings came to the defense of republican congressman mark meadows earlier this year. a major moment in february when congresswoman rashida tlaib accused congressman mark meadows "of a racist act." congressman meadows who was upset by the comment, turned to cummings, his friend, to defend him. let's turn to that exchange. it was powerful. >> my nieces and nephews are people of color. not many people know that. you know know that, mr. chairman. you and i have a personal relationship that's not based on color. >> mr. meadows, you know of all the people on this committee, i've said it and got in trouble for it. that you're one of my best friends. i know that shocks a lot of people. >> and like wide, mr. chairman. >> yeah, but you are. and i would do -- and i can see
and feel your pain. i feel it. >> well, today after two days of silence, congressman meadows put out a statement that actually glossed over much of what trump said about his "best friend elijah cummings." i am friends with both men, president trump and chairman cummings. i know both manuel. neither is a racist. period. >> i think leaving aside the genuineness of representative meadows' feelings on this issue which i think are very real, he may some day want to run statewide in our home state of north carolina. where he's going to have to win votes in raleigh, in charlotte -- >> do you have any moral problem with this stuff? >> of course i have a moral problem with it. that's one of the reasons i find the president's actions and words to be indefensible. >> it seems to me -- it's a little too philosophical but of
all people you'll get it. it seems to me the definition of a conservative as opposed to a right-winger or a reactionary is to try to hold society together. you get revolutions, heads chopped off. how do you hold society together if you make people hate each other? >> and this is -- >> well, you don't. and there is a certain amount of give and take that's necessary to hold a society together. and there is a certain amount of politeness. and what donald trump would call political correctness. but, in fact, a lot of not going around -- >> courtesy. >> saying racist things to people, you know, politeness and just joining -- the recognition that we are a society -- we're in something together. and that if we work together, we'll get further. >> it's like churchill keeping national health when he came in in the '50s, eisenhower keeping the new deal. you make accommodations to keep society together. it's not always a knife fight. president trump and his allies have called the
democrats' oversight presidential harassment. congressman cummings overseeing multiple investigations, of course. when acting chief of staff mick mulvaney was a member of congress been he would frequently demand oversight of the obama administration. now he's criticizing cummings for doing the same job. >> what mr. cummings said this week was wrong. mr. cummings is spending all of his time on this impeachment inquiry, which is we all know is going nowhere. so it's the -- democrats actually have a chance to focus on things that matter. instead they're working on scandal. >> during the obama administration, house republicans spent roughly $7 million and held 33 hearings investigating the attack on the american consulate in benghazi. congressman mulvaney told his constituents there were times in our nation's history if our ambassador was killed, it was time to go to war. pumping it up. >> you and i both know there is no president, no presidential administration that has ever
loved congressional oversight. they never love -- >> it's an audit. please audit me but they put up with it, you know, because that's the way the constitution works and those are the powers given to congress. so you put up with it and you provide the documents, you provide the witnesses and you get past it. so through kbrgritted teeth, th obama administration had patience with the whole benghazi thing. this administration will have to, you know, at the end of things have patience with this congress. but that's not in donald trump's dna. >> do you think if trump were nixon he would have burnt the tapes? >> yes. >> do you think so? we agree on that? unified on that theory. thanks you, gene robinson and michael steele. up next, president trump finds a hardcore loyalist to overtake his director of national intelligence. ratcliffe may be facing an uphill battle in the u.s. senate. next on "hardball." senate next on "hardball. has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows.
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americans need to know this as they listen to the democrats and socialists on the other side of the aisle as they do dramatic readings from this report. that volume ii of this report was not authorized under the law. to be written. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president trump's new pick for director of national intelligence, u.s. congressman john ratcliffe of texas. directing a pointed barb at democrats during the mueller hearings last week. president trump announced on
saturday this weekend that ratcliffe is his choice to replace dan coats, who has been one of the few cabinet members willing to stand up to the president. in contrast to coats, ratcliffe has shown himself to be a partisan foot soldier for the president. in fact, just before mueller's testimony, ratcliffe met with trump about the job, according to "the new york times," which notes that the hearings just five days later are foffered th congressman a chance to essentially audition for the president. during that hearing, ratcliffe repeatedly accused mueller of violating the special counsel regulations because his report didn't charge the president but didn't exonerate him either. >> can you give me an example other than donald trump where the justice department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined? >> i cannot, but this is a unique situation. >> okay, well, you can't -- time is short. i've got five minutes. let's just leave it at you can't find it because i'll tell you why, it doesn't exist. respectfully, director, you
didn't follow the special counsel regulations. i agree with the chairman this morning when he said that donald trump is not above the law. he's not, but he damn sure shouldn't be below the law, which is where volume ii of this report puts him. >> trump's choice of that man as his chief intelligence official has ignited outrage among democrats at least. according to one report, some republicans also warned the white house that he's too partisan, this guy, for such a sensitive job as dni, director of national intelligence. and that's coming up next. you're watching "hardball." wow! that's ensure max protein,
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump's decision to nominate loyalist republican congressman john ratcliffe for director of national intelligence has elicited outrage from democrats. "the new york times" reports there was a degree of apprehension from the president's side of the aisle as well. "some republicans privately expressed concern, including senator richard burr, the
chairman of the senate intelligence committee, who cautioned the president's advisers that he considered mr. ratcliffe too political for the post, according to people familiar with the discussions. however, mr. trump disregarded the warning." late today senator burr denied that reporting from "the new york times" and said ratcliffe would be too political. he also released a statement today. when the white house submits its official nomination to the senate intelligence committee, we will work to move it swiftly through with regular order. i'm joined by jonathan lemire and katrina mulligan. jonathan, what does that mean, by the way, by the chairman? i respect burr a lot. i think he's from old school of senators who work together across the aisle, especially on national security issues like intelligence. does that mean he's voting for this guy or not? i can't tell. >> well, there is actually another update, chris. i can provide some real-time richard burr news. he stopped well short of
endorsing ratcliffe. he doesn't know him and said clearly more research is needed. so he can certainly move to advance the nomination. doesn't necessarily mean he's going to vote for him when all is said and done. and i think his fate remains uncertain. there are some republicans, particularly those like collins and gardner who, you know, have vulnerable seats who are up for re-election whose states did not vote for donald trump last time around and may not again who i think will face some pressure to not send this nomination forward, to not vote for this nominee. there is real concern that ratcliffe not only is perhaps too partisan but doesn't have the necessary experience for the job. let's reflect briefly on dan coats, as you said at the opening here, was one of the few members of the trump's national security team, his cabinet, who was willing to say no, stand up to the president to try to tamp down, contradict him on matters like iran, north korea and most memberably, i believe he's the one in the hours after the helsinki summit with vladimir putin when donald trump sided
with the russian leader over his own intelligence agencies, dan coats put out a statement defending those very agencies. >> you know, katrina, we have a challenge here because we do count on our intel people, our g 2s, to tell us what the hell is going on in the world. suppose he does hear about russian fillediddling helping d trump. do you think he's going to tell the democrats, this guy? >> i think that's a critical question and i don't think we know the answer to that so far. so far what we've seen from him is that he's been a partisan cheerleader and he has no experience. if he's confirmed, he would be the least experienced director of national intelligence that we've ever seen. >> well, here he is, congressman ratcliffe of texas doing his audition attacking robert mueller and his investigation just yesterday. >> the person who learned the most about the mueller report during wednesday's hearings was robert mueller. the mueller report and its
conclusions weren't from robert mueller. they were written by what a lot of people believe was hillary clinton's de facto legal team. it's really going to be difficult for the democrats or anyone to rely upon the findings of a report when they just listen to the man whose name was on top of it not have a command of what was even in it. >> well, that sounds like fox. he was on fox yesterday. he also claimed that crimes had been committed in the early days of the russia probe during the obama administration. let's watch. >> what i do knows a former federal prosecutor is it does appear that there were crimes committed during the obama administration. >> jonathan, this is just pure unalloyed 100-proof stuff you get from the right wing. this obsession with this idea that somehow how we found out about the russian connection was somehow tainted, therefore, we shouldn't have found out about the russia connection. it's illogical. we should have found out about the russian connection and any americans who had anything to do
with it. why do they keep focussing on how we found? >> you're right, chris. it's borne from the idea of the fever swamp, the fringes of the right wing. one echoed from the oval office. the russia probe, has now reached a conclusion, but still it gnaws on donald trump. any discussion of russian meddling back in 2016 or a suggestion that it could happen again in 2020, the president, according to our reporting, really views it as something that delegitimizes his victory. as if you're saying that he only won in 2016 because he had outside help. and coats' departure here also, let's point out, this is yet another guardrail gone from this president. >> yes. >> whether it was defense secretary mattis or the original secretary of state tillerson, even chief of staff john kelly for a time, there were people in the administration who would stand up to the president who would sort of either quietly or loudly disagree with him and sometimes not put his edicts into action. we're seeing that disappear now both on the foreign policy side like coats but also domestically
within the white house. according to our reporting, we have a new story out tonight, there is no one in the white house that has chided the president that he shouldn't have put out these tweets about elijah cummings. he's his own communications director and no one there telling him no. >> rooms full of enablers. speaking at the aspen security forum last year, intelligence director coats appeared to joke about the president's reported intention to invite vladimir putin to the u.s. >> we have some breaking news. the white house has announced on twitter that vladimir putin is coming to the white house in the fall. >> say that again. >> you -- vladimir putin coming to the -- >> did i hear you? did i hear you? >> yeah, yeah. >> okay. that's going to be special. >> well, there you go. there you go. according to "the new york times," aides of mr. trump
seized on that exchange to suggest that he was disloyal but and should have been fired but he was shielded by president trump. trump doesn't like that kind of stuff. he doesn't like grown-ups in the room. >> he has proven the thing that matters to him is loyalty to president trump not the ability or -- >> tell me about coats because he's leaving now. you worked for him. >> i did. i worked at the director of national intelligence during his tenure. you know, he had a way of saying, you know, we -- we seek truth, we speak truth. that was one of the mantras during his tenure. and, you know, he was well-respected. steady leader of the intelligence community and someone willing to stand up for the intelligence community assessments, even when he knew them to be unpopular with the president and with the president's staff. >> i love that slogan. we seek truth, we speak truth. good-bye to that. thank you, jonathan lemire, thank you katrina mulligan. up next, donald trump may think his racist rhetoric will
fire up his base and help him get re-elected, but what if it's firing up the democratic base even more? michael eric dyson joins us next on "hardball." -their béarnaise sauce here is the best in town. [ soft piano music playing ] mm, uh, what do you do for fun? -not this. ♪ -oh, what am i into? mostly progressive's name your price tool. helps people find coverage options based on their budget. flo has it, i want it, it's a whole thing, and she's right there. -yeah, she's my ride. this date's lame. he has pics of you on his phone. -they're very tasteful. he has pics of you on his phone.
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rodent-infested mess, it's one of several cities that the president has criticized that seems to follow a familiar pattern of his. "the washington post" describes it as an attempt to undermine a political opponent, the president disparages an entire place, often in racially insensitive tones. here is the president talking about some of our cities. >> like chicago, which has been a total disaster. >> unemployed african-american youth in cities like detroit who have become refugees in their own country. >> take a look at charlotte. take a look at baltimore. take a look at ferguson. take a look at what's happening out on the streets of our inner cities. you have city, inner cities that are worse than war zones and more dangerous than some war zones. >> it's not just here in the united states that president trump has targeted, all around the world, calling el salvador, haiti and african countries
s-hole countries. for more i'm joined by michael eric dyson, georgetown university professor and author of "what truth sounds like." there is the book. congratulations on the new book. let's talk about this -- this platform that this president's given all good people by name, by face, by ethnicity, by race, he's direct. >> he is. >> he takes african countries. he takes latin american countries. he's never going after norway. >> right. >> or russia. >> right. >> or even japan. >> right. >> it's always black or brown. that's his name. that's his game. >> that what he does. what you said earlier and brilliantly, george wallace was abstract and anonymous. he didn't put a face to the name. he talked about categories. this president is putting entire categories of people at risk. he's putting the squad and other congress people at risk. >> physically. >> physically. i mean, to be assaulted by somebody who is a lunatic out there on the fringe willing to do his bidding for him.
he's putting ellijah cummings i such a horrible spot. he's served his city valiantly, baltimore. think about the song that nina simone sang in 1978, prince writing about baltimore. there are ways you can talk about the complicated ills that beset that city and the extraordinary promise and brightness of that city, and yet this president as the president of the united states of america, guess what? baltimore falls under your bailiwick. that's within your sphere. >> he might want to rebuild the cities like he promised to? >> my god, how about that. lbj, not lebron james, but the president in the 1960s said if you can convince the poorest white man that he's better than the smartest black man, you can pick his pockets. guess what? if you can convince him that he's better than all of those people, he'll pick his pockets for you. so i don't understand why working. class white people who have not been benefitted by the policies and practices of this particular
president can to believe that he is their man. >> okay. here's a question. i know elijah cummings. i live in maryland. he is a grown-up. a figure of leadership and respect. he's not a community leader. he's a statewide statesman. people look up to him that way. he could have won the senate seat if he wanted it in a state that is overwhelmingly white. why does he pick a guy and treat him like he's some loud mouth, you know, ethnic advocate? >> because he's making an example. if he can pick on what he perceives to be the nicist, even in some people's viewpoint the most conciliatory figure, if he can demonize that guy, he works backwards and everybody else on a scorched earth policy is fair game for him. it's ingenuous but problematic tactic of identifying the most c conciliatory figure who says his friend is mr. meadows who did
him no favor when he drew a false equivalency between trump and elijah cummings. >> that wasn't a favor to a friend. by the way, people when they move to the burbs. >> why are they here? >> they love their cities. >> the urban culture is there. >> i think he's attacking diversity, not just blacks. attacking people who want to live in that kind of setting. in a "new york times" op-ed, princeton professor makes the case that president trump remains a greater danger to our political discourse than segregationist alabama governor george wallace was back in '60s. he writes that mr. wallace's targets for the most part were presented in the abstract, though he described agitators, anarchist, communists, he rarely went after an individual by name. president trump in contrast has used his rallies to single out specific enemies. participants have been moved to attack individuals he has called
out. is this president responsible if something breaks out physically? >> absolutely. i mean, he's ins grating, he's inciting riots of the mind, of the spirit, of the soul and now sometimes even physically. people have said who have been white supremacists they were stirred up by the rhetoric of the president or those who are affiliated with him. so, yeah, i think the professor makes an excellent point. it's one thing to have an anonymous abstract backdrop against which you pitch your bigoted beliefs. not that we're exonerating mr. wallace posthumously, but what trump is doing is so dangerous because he riles up and gins up the -- ratchets up the rhetoric against them and people are vulnerable because people will go out thinking, i'm doing the right thing because the president has demonized this person. now they are fulfilling his -- >> you're not a leader of a community, but speak for it. what is the reaction in the black community, brown community when they see a president of the
united states who is in charge of the whole country? >> well, first of all -- >> talk like this. >> they see how abhorrent he is. they see how ridiculously racist he is. they also see this, where are the good white people that speak up? you use your bully pulpit to speak against this every night. where are other people not only coming to the rescue. >> where is mitt romney? >> that's right. that this is wrong. because their bodies are not at stake in the same way. thirdly, they miss obama. whatever you say about obama, he brought the nation together. >> where is susan collins? where is susan collins? >> the white politicians who claim to be adhere annts to the democratic policies. >> mike pence can talk. i know it's an idiotic proposal but he can talk. >> they're cowards. they are betraying the best traditions -- >> you're not, professor. thank you, michael eric dyson. up next, what joe biden's debate strategy should be. you're watching haf"hardball." ♪ limu emu & doug
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i got your back brother. and me yours. [ laughing ] [ screaming ] we got a new poll today. this one from quinnipiac shows former obama vice president joe biden holding very strong at 34%. with massachusetts senator elizabeth warren in second place at 15%. this tells me a couple of things. one, that biden should look upon this week's debate adds a sparring match when he gets attacked by an opponent, he should use it to show he knows
how to mix it up, show he can defend himself, he's the kind of fighter to send into the ring against donald trump. biden should, "a," not be surprised by the attack from whichever the other candidates it comes, not take it personally, handle the punch as a way to show his fighting ability to take on trump, and lastly, play defense not offense. why? because the best way to win and look good winning is to be seen defending yourself. that's what fdr did in winning his fourth term. it's what ronald reagan did in winning his first, attack from a defensive position. the country will root for you. second observation, have you noticed senator warren's rise? it's relentless. if she keeps going this way, she'll be up there in the lead with biden by the iowa caucuses in early february. she's doing it by being positive with a steady dynamic output of policy proposals not by attacking another candidate. both biden and warren are doing the job and no harm to their party's chances coming 2020. they're following the advice of
winston churchill as what not to do. if we open a quarrel between past and present he told his party at the outset of world war ii, we shall find we lost the future. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- infested. it sounds like vermin. it sounds subhuman. >> the president launches a racist attack on an american city. >>is the is what the president does. >> as the constituents he promised to save continue to suffer. >> don't sell your house. do not sell it. we're going to get those values up. >> tonight, the inherent political weakness in donald trump's racist politics. >> we're going to get those jobs coming back and we're going to fill up those factories or rip them down and build brand-new ones. then the wave of democrats calling for impeachment swells. >> i would say we are in an impeachment investigation. >> the highest