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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 3, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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go off the air. i was just talking to comedian chuck nice about chris christie's new push for civility. tonight, if you go there right now @the beat with ari on instagram, you can see that new behind the scenes video. we just posted, i hope you join us again at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. that does it for "the beat." "hardball" is up next. ♪ good evening. welcome to "hardball." i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. hurricane dorian remains a dangerous category 2 storm, and it is gaining speed as it moves closer to the atlantic coast. the storm has already resulted in five deaths in the bahamas where new images show scenes of near total destruction. tens of thousands of homes were also destroyed or damaged. and dorian is now moving dangerously close to the florida coast later tonight.
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this according to the national hurricane center. for the very latest, let's turn to nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> we finally have a storm on the move. after days of sitting over the alabaman island. 6 miles per hour. still slow by hurricane standards, but now it's heading for the carolina coastline. will it make that direct landfall? it's still a direct possibility. we do not think it will get much weaker from here on out. it did go from a category 5 to a 2. even if it makes landfall as a strong category two, we would have significant problems in areas of the carolinas. would it look like grand alabama island or great abaco? no. still, maybe a week or two without power. storm surge issues, wind, trees. raking the florida coast. it's about 80 miles off the coast. and that's all that's really protected areas of east coast of florida. yes, we still have some storm surge concerns, but we're not thinking we're going have any direct hurricane impact. that path is safely off the
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coast for the next 24 hours. here is the key time on thursday. as it begins to go northward, when is it going to make that turn? is it going to go into charleston or will it make the turn, missing it? the same thing goes for myrtle beach. or it may parallel or rake the coast from wilmington, atlantic beach, morehead city, all the way through the pimlico sounds. that's a possibility. 105-mile-per-hour winds to 90-mile-per-hour winds is nothing to sneeze at. and again, it will cause a lot of issues. as far as impacts go in florida, we're still concerned with the high tide, especially tomorrow afternoon. areas around jacksonville, duval county and st. john's river. as we head into georgia, same thing. near the brunswick area, the inlet area, some storm surge problems. not really concerned too much with the amount of rain and wind. but once we get to the carolinas, if we get to the eye, what's left of it, the center of the storm over land, that's when quo start to have problems with the winds causing issues, the storm surge, and heavy rain and inland flooding. and the same goes for area
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there's of north carolina. so we'll watch this continually over the next day or two, and we'll have to wait and see where it makes final destination there in north carolina. >> okay, bill karins, thank you for that. i know you're going to keep monitoring it. we will check back later in the program. and meanwhile, a political storm is brewing over in ireland where vice president mike pence is spending the last few days of the european trip. the vice president had two days of meetings in dublin. instead of staying in the capital city, though, pence opted to stay at the trump international golf links in doan doonbeg, ireland, about 175 miles from dublin. president trump and members of his administration have been accused of funneling taxpayerow in the u.s. and abroad. last week, president trump hos next g7 summit. pence's chief of staff told reporters that it was president trump who made the, quote, suggestion to stay at the
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doonbeg resort. pence himself defended to stay at the trump property. take a look. >> if you have a chance to get to doonbeg, you'll find it's a fairly small place, and the opportunity to stay at trump national in doonbeg to accommodate the unique footprint that comes with our security detail and other personnel made it logical. we checked it with the state department. they approved us staying there. >> last year, propublica, a nonprofit news organization, found that during the trump administration, roughly $16 million in taxpayer money has been spend at trump-owned properties. according to an nbc news account, president trump has spent almost 300 days at trump properties. president trump remains the sole beneficiary of his businesses, and he receives updates from his sons who manage the organization on his behalf. for more i'm joined by jonathan swan, axios national political reporter.
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neera hayk, and michael steele, former rnc chairman. thanks to all of us for being with us. jonathan, i guess take us inside the administration on how something like this works or might work. we have the reporting there that the president suggested to mike pence that he stay at a trump property. what does that mean in an administration like this? and what's the consequence? is there a consequence somebody would face if they don't follow the suggestion? >> well, my reporting is that it isn't any more complicated than what was described by mike pence's chief of staff -- sorry, chief of staff, mark short. trump often does things like this when he says you should my property is the best you should stay there. i think what's really important is to put it in the much larger context is that trump's presidency has been the world's greatest infomercial for trump properties. it's not just the money that you just referenced in terms of taxpayer dollars of housing,
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secret service and others at the properties. it's putting it on the world stage. the name idea of mar-a-lago prepresidency versus now, i would love to see a comparison of that. he goes to his properties. he makes his properties household names. and to discuss holding the g7 at doral in miami next year, this just -- this is probably the smallest example i've seen of what is a much, much larger trend in the trump presidency. >> so michael, it sounds like he puts this in almost personal terms to in this case, mike pence, why wouldn't you stay here? you'd be personally insulting me if you didn't choose to stay here. what do you think would happen if mike pence didn't end up choosing the stay there? >> oh, he would probably get a nasty tweet somewhere along the lines of gee, mike, you could have at least stayed at my place in ireland, you know. i appreciate the vice president
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doing his best to sort of clean this up. but you mean to tell me no american administration has ever gone to ireland and their footprint -- we've always gone 140 miles away from the central event that we're there for? of course not. it's crazy. but what else was the vice president going to do? i mean i think his chief of staff put it best. yeah, the president requested we stay at his place. guess where we stayed? at his place. now here is the rub, steve. we can talk about this, but what are the consequences with respect to the emoluments close and the way this president has marketed, branded and financially benefitted from being president with his various properties and other associations. the republicans in the house and senate aren't going to do squat. the democrats are largely hopeless and helpless in doing anything because they don't have the power besides calling a
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meeting. so the president will continue to do this. and there is more spending to come, guaranteed. >> neera, you know how the state department works. mike pence makes the point the state department did approve this arrangement. logistically, behind the scenes, what goes into a determination like that when it comes to a trip like this? >> yeah, there is certainly a calculation that goes on the back end for any average worker, average employee. clearly the vice president and president are able to make exceptions for themsely similar suggestion which is essentially you to make this work. under normal circumstances, i would have had to show where we were going, look at something close to the facility, and if i wanted to be reimbursed or have it done on the work dime, it would have to be close, not three hours away that required on top of the distance a military helicopter for transportation. so the expenses here are above and beyond what would be in the normal line of duty for not just
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any civil servant, but anybody in a business capacity who is traveling on a work dime. >> meanwhile, trump's decision to play golf this weekend as hurricane dorian approached raised some eyebrows, not just at home, but also abroad. last week trump said he was cancelling a trip to poland in order to monitor the hurricane. on monday, london sadiq khan told politico he is clearly busy dealing with the hurricane out on the golf course. president trump responded tweeting this, the incompetent mayor of london sadiq khan was bothered that i played a very fast round of golf yesterday. many polls travel for hours. president obama would fly to hawaii. he is a terrible mayor who should stay out of our business. throughout the 2016 campaign, candidate trump frequently criticized president obama's golf outs. take a look. >> we have a president who doesn't fight. he goes out and plays golf all the time. >> he doesn't want to work too hard. he wants to go play golf.
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>> he plays more golf than the guys on the pga tour play. >> golf, golf, golf, golf. more, more. learning how to chip, learning how to hit the drive, learning how to putt, oh, i want more. >> if i win, there won't be time to go golfing all the time. >> but i'm not going to be playing much golf, believe me. if i win this, i'm not going to be playing much golf. >> i'm not going to play much golf, because there is a lot of work to do. >> what am i going to do? play a round of golf? it's boring. >> michael steele, i guess that's said, donald trump, barack obama, go back a long line of presidents who have played golf for considerable amounts of time during their presidency. >> sure. >> it's not new. there are all sorts of defensible justifications for it. but there is the fact that donald trump made this a major indictment of his predecessor. >> yeah. and here's the rub. the reality of it is you're right, steve. presidents find a way to get away from it all, to take some time for themselves, to sort of relax. and, yeah, you can make political hay from time to time
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about the president being on the golf course. but i think for this president to look back at his predecessor and to berate him the way he did then and to even pretend as if now what he's doing is not out of line is a little bit -- well, it's trump. so you kind of take it for what it is. the fact of the matter is donald trump likes to play golf. and the last clip of him saying it's boring, no, it's not for him. it's how he spends a lot of his time. just like his executive time which takes up 3/4 of the morning is about watching television and tweeting. it's not about doing executive business. so we are now -- folks are getting a broader picture of where this president and this presidency is, as we go into this next political cycle. and the american people are going to have to ask themselves some really deep and hard questions about how this country's being governed at this hour. >> and jonathan swan, that back and forth too with sadiq khan with the mayor of london, that's also not something new.
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this president and khan have gone after each other back and forth a number of times now. the context there i guess is interesting there was big news today out of britain just in terms of what happened in parliament with boris johnson and his plan on brexit. but there are deep divisions in britain. it seems the eagerness -- you can talk about donald trump's eagerness to go after sadiq khan to play to his base here. but the eagerness of khan to engage with this president tells you about the political divide a bit in england and how at least a good chunk of that country doesn't like donald trump and is looking for somebody to speak out against him. >> i remember last year i traveled with president trump to london when he met with theresa may. that was the same trip that he had that famous press conference with vladimir putin in helsinki. i mean, london, london proper was filled with protesters against the president, and look, it benefits both of their political constituencies to sadiq khan's base and president trump's base when they take
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shots at each other. thing is part 400 of their ongoing feud which has been going on for sort of probably the best part of his presidency. president trump on that trip i remember wanted to elevate the idea that sadiq khan's london is this crime ridden hell hole and sadiq khan had a great time taking shots back at him. what i'm watching with that relationship is it's actually quite similar to president trump has a personal connection to boris johnson in the same way that he has a personal affinity and chemistry with benjamin netanyahu in israel. both of them are very vulnerable politicians, and president trump wants them to succeed and get into power. i'm interested. i'm watching very closely what bones, if any he throws to each of them that might help them politically. with boris johnson, it's very much in the realm of trade and hyping up the potential of a u.s./uk trade deal to mitigate all the downside economic
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consequences of brexit. >> all right. jonathan swan, michael steal, nayyera haq, thank you all for being with us. . coming up, house democrats plan to hold public hearings on president trump's alleged role in hush money payments two two women. what effect if any will this have on the push for impeachment? plus, republicans step up their efforts to avoid any kind of gun control in the wake of the recent murder sprees. the white house is now proposing quicker executions for mass murderers and downplaying background checks. what will congress do when they return next week? we've got much more to get to. stay with us. stay with us if you live with diabetes, why fingerstick when you can scan? with the freestyle libre 14 day system just scan the sensor with your reader, iphone or android and manage your diabetes. with the freestyle libre 14 day system, a continuous glucose monitor, you can check your glucose levels any time, without fingersticks. ask your doctor to write a prescription for the freestyle libre 14 day system.
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welcome back to "hardball." democrats on the house judiciary committee are planning to refocus their investigations of the white house on the 2016 scheme to silence two women alleging affairs with the
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president. "the washington post" was first to report that the committee, quote, is preparing to hold hearings and call witnesses involved in hush money payment to ex-"playboy" model karen mcdougal and adult film star stormy daniels as soon as october. those payments were coordinated by former trump lawyer michael cohen who is currently serving three years in prison for breaking campaign finance laws, among other accusations. prosecutors in cohen's case detailed the president's alleged role in this scheme, but closed their investigation last month with no additional charges. now according to the post, quote, the new congressional inquiry will reopen questions about the extent of trump's involvement in the episode and whether he would have been charged if not for justice department opinions that a sitting president cannot be indicted. the new line of inquiry will no doubt fuel more debate about impeachment, a move that's now favored by 134 democrats in the house. joining me now is democratic congresswoman mary gay scanlon
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of pennsylvania, thank you for joining us. let me ask you this. this was investigated in the southern district of new york. the case was closed without any further action. what can you learn here? what do you hope to learn here that we don't already know? >> well, what we know already is that michael cohen is serving jail time for campaign finance violations involving paying money in violation of campaign finance laws to affect the election of his then boss, donald trump. we know that the southern district investigated it. we know that the d.a. in manhattan is still investigating it, and just recently, just at the beginning of august, issued some more subpoenas. so there are active facts there that should be looked into. i think it would be malpractice of the judiciary not to look into is the t president authorized payments to anybody to try to impact his election. >> i guess that's my question,
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because i've seen some of my colleagues. one of your colleagues quoted already satisfied that the evidence is there that shows the president was a co-conspirator. is that your view or not? >> there may be evidence there, but our committee hasn't seen it. congress hasn't seen it there was evidence presented to the grand jury. the u.s. attorney up there refers to someone who can only be the president as individual number 1 as having authorized payments in violation of campaign finance laws. so it's kind of like you can charge someone based upon what you've been told, but you need to see the evidence before you go to trial. >> who do you want to hear from? >> you know, i think we're going to have to follow the money, as they say, and see what is in the files from the southern district. there were a lot of people involved. i'm much more interested in who authorized any hush money payments than who they were given to.
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>> the chairman of your question committee says the judiciary committee is already engaged in an impeachment inquiry. this part of that? >> i think it absolutely is. one of the core functions of the judiciary committee is to determine whether or not they're impeachable offenses. the mueller report was part of that, but there is certainly a number of other allegations concerning this administration that could amount to high crimes and misdemeanors. >> so i guess that's an interesting question then. do you believe the question you're posing here is whether the president was involved in or whether or not he was the principle figure in setting up this scheme to go around campaign finance laws to keep the politically embarrassing affair a secret during the campaign. you believe if established that would be impeachable? that would be a high crime? >> absolutely. in fact, the framers of the constitution, when they debated those terms, whether or not
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there should be an impeachment clause right here in philadelphia where i'm sitting, they laid out a number of things that they viewed as impeachable offenses. one of them was procuring election by corruption. if the president procured his election by corruption, then the founders of our country viewed that as an impeachable offense. >> i guess the peril, if it does come to this, if you have these hearings, if it's part of an impeachment inquiry, if this leads to an impeachment recommendation from your committee, i think one of the criticisms that might be leveled against taking that action would be what about bill clinton? what about democrats like jerry nadler who chairs your committee in 1998 and how they handled bill clinton? committed a felony, perjury, to cover up a politically embarrassing affair to keep the country from knowing about that. the position of jerry nadler, the position of just about every democrat back then was, yeah, it was a felony. yeah, it was to cover up something politically embarrassing, maybe something politically damaging, but it wasn't impeachable because it was private matter.
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>> okay. well, so, impeachment has always been a combination of actual conduct and a political calculation. at the end of the day, the question is whether the american people believe that it's an impeachable offense, and it's our job on judiciary to get the evidence out there. >> i guess the question i'm asking is the line that was drawn in 1998 was yes, he might have committed a felony, but because it was about something that was ultimately private, a consensual affair, it wasn't impeachable. now there would be a charge potentially, a charge that the president committed a felony to cover up a politically embarrassing affair, but it would be impeachable, even though it was private consensual affair. >> i think there is a lot of distinctions there, the first of which was i wasn't in congress back then. but i think the really important one is that the felony at issue here would be whether or not the president acted in a way that was corrupt to procure his own election. it really goes to the heart of
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our democratic system. >> say you're in an impeachment inquiry right now. jerry nadler said he pates votes jerry nadler said he pates votes by the end of the year.
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well, here is a heck of a headline. biden campaign says iowa is not a must-win state. that's from politico this afternoon. certainly looks like a defensive move. a campaign that is feeling uneasy about where it is and maybe trying to lower the bar a little bit. if the biden campaign is worried about iowa, they are probably right to be. the latest poll does have biden out in front in the hawkeye state, but he is not exactly running away with it. and it's also not hard to imagine things getting worse for him in iowa. this is of course a caucus state. it's the ones who care the most who tend to show up. and the electorate tends to be heavily liberal. that is not normally the recipe for biden who does best in polls with moderate voters. it is, though, the recipe for,
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say, elizabeth warren who does best with liberal voters and best with highly engaged activists. so what happens if biden does lose iowa? is it over for him? not necessarily. the next state up is new hampshire. that's just eight days later. and if he turns things around and wins it there, that would undo all of the damage of an iowa loss, and it would set him up to dominate in nevada and especially in south carolina. those are the states where biden is already polling a lot better. the problem for biden, though, is that if he loses new hampshire, because imagine how it would play out. he is running on electability. he is running on the idea that he is a uniquely strong candidate, that he is a winner. but winners are supposed to win. so if biden loses iowa, that image takes a hit. and whoever beats him meanwhile, would start to look a lot more like a winner. in other words, the iowa result could lead to a big shake-up in new hampshire. and already, right now, new hampshire looks close. this is the most recent poll. biden ahead, but only by a few points. he is in the low 20s. in new hampshire right now.
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so what do these numbers end up looking like if biden takes a big hit in iowa and someone else is suddenly surging? and if biden lost iowa and new hampshire, he'd be 0 for 2 in the lead-off contest. and yes, theoretically, he could recover in next states. but you know how these things go. it only takes a couple of wins or a couple of losses to change everything. voters in nevada and south carolina and everywhere else take their cues from what happens in new hampshire and iowa. they flock to the winners. they avoid the losers. that's why in the modern era of presidential politics, no one in either party has lost contested races in both iowa and new hampshire and still gone on to win the nomination. i say contested because the one exception is 1992, bill clinton technically lost iowa and new hampshire and won the nomination, but iowa was not a contested state that year. so i think the biden campaign is right. he does not have to win iowa, but if he loses it, he'd better turn things around right away or else the damage really could be
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too much. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> we are in the midst of historic tragedy in parts of northern bahamas. >> historic devastation off america's shores. >> please, say a prayer for us, pray for abaco. >> tonight, the untold destruction in the bahamas as america braces for hurricane dorian, and how the trump administration keeps leading us toward more climate catastrophe. then the growing political pressure on guns as walmart announces new restrictions in the wake of yet another massacre. >> walmart leadership is stepping up to the vacuum they see from washington leadership. and congresswoman maxine waters on the charges that the president is pick pocketing american taxpayers by way of a mike pence visit to ireland. >> if you have a chance to get

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