tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 16, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
that does it for me. brian williams has an interview with edward snowden on the 11th hour tonight. you can watch that right here on msnbc. hardball with chris matthews is up next. locked and loaded. really? let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. president trump threatens military action against iran following an attack on the world's loorjest o elargest oil. early morning attacks were in saudi arabia cutting its oil production in half. the united states sees iran behind the attacks. mike pompeo accused iran of an
unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply promising there they will be held accountable. the president says the evidence points to iran. here is what he said today. >> have you seen evidence of proof that iran was behind the ta ta attack? >> it's looking that way. we're having some strong studies done. it's looking that way. we'll let you know. as soon as we find out, we'll let you know but it does look that way. >> now nbc news is reporting according to three people familiar with the evidence, american intelligence indicates the attack was launched from iran. additionally, a congressional source says democrats familiar with details do not dispute the attack was carried out by iran. this comes after the president warned yesterday that the united states is locked and loaded defending on verification but is waiting to hear from the kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack and under what terms we would proceed. the washington post also reports
the administration's contemplating with u.s. officials characterize as a serious military response. amid all of this, the president's attacking the media disputing reports he was ready to meet with iran's leadership. trump claimed yesterday the fake news saying i'm willing to meet with iran, no conditions. that is an incorrect statement as usual. the president has repeatedly said exactly that. >> i would meet with iran if they wanted to meet. >> do you have pre-conditions for that meetingpre-conditions. i'll meet any time they want. it's good for the country. good for them, good for us and good for the world. >> is it one-on-one talks? >> it doesn't matter to me. anything to get you to the result. you want to talk good, otherwise you can have a bad economy. >> no pre-conditions? >> no pre-conditions. >> it could happen.
it could happen. no problem with meeting. >> further more both secretary of state pompeo and steetve mnuchin said trump would meet with iran without any pre-condition. >> we've done more sanctions on iran than anybody. the president said he's happy to take a meeting with no pre-conditions. >> can you foresee meeting later this month surrounding the united nation? >> sure. >> would the president support that? >> the president made it clear, he's prepared to meet with no pre-conditions. >> i'm joined by former director of the cia john brenman and eugene rollins. is this president ready to go to war or meet with the president without conditions?
>> i don't know and he doesn't know either. he's gotten us into this position. it's clear we cannot allow this devastating attack to go unanswered. how do you do that without leading to some tiype of respiratory that will make the situation worse. i think the saudis realize how vulnerable they are to strikes whether it be from drones or where ever. it just demonstrates just how much the iranians can hurt the states and our allies. >> what do you think they are up to? >> the iranians? >> yeah. >> they're upset of this economic war that's been declared by the trump administration. it's not just u.s. sanctions on iran. it's the u.s. insistence that other countries honor those sanctions. the iranian economy is hurting badly and they believe the sta k -- status quo is unacceptable. they were strikes against oil tankers and in the gulf and they have ratcheted up.
they want to try to provoke something. >> it's the second time the president has threatened military action against iran since june when he said the united states was cocked and loaded. trump is now siting that to express his skepticism about iran's responsibility this time. now they say they had nothing to do attack. we'll see. at the same time he's saying he wants to avoid war with iran. >> do you want a war with iran? >> do i want war? i don't want war with anybody. i'm somebody that would like to not have war. >> you said the united states is prepared for war? >> the united states is more prepared than any other kany hif we have to go that way. as to whether or not we go that way we'll see. that was a very large attack and
it could be met with an attack many, many times larger very easily by our country. we're going to find out who did it first. >> this is a question of how do you restrain the climbing up of actions by both sides. this president doesn't have the preparation mentally or historically to lead us in war. he doesn't have any idea what it means. i think he has instinct against it because of that but he wants to be macho man. >> he as a strong instinct against taking military action because he did you waoesn't wan bogged down in another middle east war. he may or may not have an idea of war against iran. he may or may not be sorting through options for a more limited strike. i doubt he's able to parse what the next steps would be. this all started when he cancelled the iran nuclear deal
because it had been negotiated by president obama. that seems to be the only reason. now, he seems to want to negotiate the iran nuclear deal. he wants to negotiate the same deal only it will have his name on it. >> i don't think scarlet o' hara was a good role model. once against hesita's crushing his attack and now he looked like he was trying to get back into deal even at the point of backing the french concessions to the ie yranians and now he's saying we're locked and loaded for war and you know he's not interested in going to war. can you read him ? >> no. >> if you were iran can you read him? >> i think they are uncertain but they are pushing him now. he is very lunreluctant to enga
in a new conflict. could be long and bloody. he is now in the cul-de-sac he's got us in and he doesn't have a national adviser and in previous times of crisis you would come up with options they could present to the president and talk about the upsides and downsides of various options. there has been no real process and mr. trump is sort of continuing to act in a very ad hoc manner. this is very dangerous period. you cannot allow this attack to go unaddressed. he's been in the bully in the schoolyards. now the iranians pull out a knife. you cannot allow the person in the pl -- with the knife to go into the playground but mr. trump got us into this. but we're now back to square one. i don't know how you fix this
problem. i don't think a lot of people in the trump administration know how to either. >> his process seems to be talk to mike pompeo and tack to jared kushner. >> he feared john bolton who has been dying to go to war with iraq since he was born and now this thing. mike pompeo can't read trump. he says he's ready to talk with no pre-conditions and the president says that's a lie. >> it's a strange situation. in a tweet complaining about the investigations into his presidency and his business records trump suggested they should quote look at the obama book deal or the ridiculous netflix deal. there is your territory.
this is general insanity of this guy. he's so weird about -- >> obama. >> we are going to talk like 8-year-olds because i'm calling him weird. i don't know a better word when he seems to be in the midst of this international worry. he's mad about obama -- mrs. obama, the former first lady sold eight million copies. i couldn't call that a deal. i'd call that the best thing publishing has come upon. they are making money. four bucks each for her. a lot more for the publishers. >> i've written about this. he has this thing about obama. anything with obama's name on it, he wants to get rid of it. all the way back to the birther thing to obama's humiliation of him at that.
>> he did put together with john kerry, the secretary of state, a deal with iran that looks better all the time. now we're possibly in a worse situation with iran instead of a long term deal with them. obama looks better. >> absolutely. i think in the obama administration we knew it was not the perfect deal but it was a good deal. it was one that a future administration could build upon. where are we now? i think trump would love to get back to the situation where the obama administration got iranians was to destroy the sent centrifuges and put the nuclear program on hold. they were agreeing to that. pompeo is a very, very hard line hawk on iran but they both have gotten us into this situation and there is no good exit.
how do you address it? i'm hoping there will be sop type of congressional bipartisan effort that will have some adults in the room look at how to get out of this without engaging in another major east. >> maybe. maybe trump and his mentality will say this is what i didn't want from bolton. i don't want it from anybody else either. i'm not going to war. i don't know,000 wa how wage wa. thank you, director. coming up, several of the democratic presidential candidates call for the impeachment of brett kavanaugh today after another allegation of misconduct. pretty bad misconduct. it was published in the new york times this weekend. is there any real chance he might be removed from the bench? why wasn't the newly revealed allegation investigate bid the fbi before he was confirmed. democrats back president
trump into a koorncorner on gun legislation making him an offer on background checks. his response remains muddled so as not to anger his pals. this is one time on guns i think he knows that nancy and chuck have put something on the table, a firm offer to do background checks and background checks alone. he better do this or he's going to look very stupid. we have much more to get to. stay with us. tupid. we have chmu more to get to. stay with us who wanted to connect... and find inspiration in new places. leading them to discover: we're woven together by the moments we share. everything you need, all in one place. expedia. (classical music playing throughout)
accusations that avenue kavanaugh exposed himself to a classmate without her consent. the reporter found seven people who heard about long before he was a judge. the book also found that the fbi declined follow up on any of the 25 witnesses ramirez provided to corroborate her allegation. this matches previous nbc news reporting that many involved in the incident were not contacted. the book uncovered a new accusation. another former yale classmate claims to have witnessed a different episode of sexual misconduct involving kavanaugh. an allegation that was known very much like the earlier of
exposing himself. that classmate declined comment. he did not remember the alleged incident. th it was later added in an ed torto editor's note. president trump said he's an innocent man who has been treated horribly. such lies about him they want to scare him into turning liberal. this new claimant doesn't say
does she not remember this exposure by kavanaugh in her face? >> we don't know what she remembers because she hasn't spoken to us. sounds like she hasn't spoken to the times. her friends have spoken on her behalf. this is coming after her witnesses what's happened with anita hall and debbie ramirez. what we know is this information was before the judiciary committee for -- during this supplementary investigation and not only were all of these classmates ignored who were contacting the fbi but a sitting member of judiciary committee who wanted this allegation to be investigated. >> how many were ignored? >> dozens based on our reporting from last year. this was the conclusion in the new york times is brett kavanaugh said if i did something like that, it would have been the talk of the dorm. based on our reporting and the
times reporting, it was the talk of the dorm and in the original new yorker story you had people who were not participants but heard about it saying that straight up at the very beginning of all of this. you had people saying they heard about this. the image is drunken freshman behavior. there's a lot of drinking. >> i don't call it gross out behavior. if accurate has described, that is a form of assault.
putting a penis in someone's face is assault. i was a member of a fraternity at an ivy league school known for its drinking, i can't recall that type of behavior. >> stephanie, were you surprised the fbi didn't follow up? >> yes. this entire process from the beginning has been a sham driven by the fbi's failure as well as the republican senate's failure. it should haland at the desk of speaker mcconnell. they pushed this through. we talk about where women are and if they are mobilized and motivated. there's so much outrage across this country. not just on this. it's just a continuation of one thing after another. another predatory story we have to live through about whether
it's assault or its gross. it's assault. we don't have leaders in the senate right now under mcconnell that's willing to do anything. that's what's got to change here. >> a real question as to whether the fbi interviewed eyewitnesss or participants. there was a close circle of buddies who hung out. >> just like in high school. >> they were in touch with them prior to the new yorker story. were they setting the narrative or eyewitnesss who had no participation in any of this who would have no reason not to tell the truth about what actually happened. sounds like max didn't want his name out there but he witnessed something and wanted that to be relay relayed. we know there was a limited number of people interviewed and that was dictate bd by the whit
house. >> that's been reported that there was a culture around this and certain people who participated but i can't go beyond that right now. >> was this behavior by an animal house environment? >> the context of the times story in the presentation was looking at it from a so socieconomic. he was a working person and he was a man of elite. yale in the early '80s they got wasted drunk and took liberties with their intoxication. all of this is not to execucusee
act. the bigger picture is presented with this body of evidence and the need to contextualize it politically was an abbreviated investigation. >> for one of the highest -- the highest appointment in the country. we all deserve as americans to have justices who are not just meeting a basic standard. this has got to be a higher standard and they rushed this through. >> how should the senate judiciary committee have addressed behavior that's got a pattern here.disgusting, sexual assault. where do you draw the line in terms of age misbehavior. we got to put that aside.
they didn't do that. they brought in blase ford. how far back do we go? >> we just started this interview saying that this is -- you're part of a fraternity. you did not see this behavior. there's certain behavior. >> what do you do with youthful ind ind indiscretions. >> it's not a usual indiscretion. >> he opened himself up to these types of accusations by claiming he had never been involved in this type of behavior at all. >> he lied his way through. >> the other thing is there's this notion that democrats are vindictive in going for the kill shot. if that were the case, wouldn't that have gone after neil gorsich. >> we can't answer that question if we don't have a discussion
about it. the investigation was one week long. they talked to ten people and let's all go back to that time we had a midterm election approaching where the republicans thought there was a real possibility they might see a wipe out and this was their chance to get their guy in the court. >> this is aimed directly at you because i know politics is your life right now. i want to tell you this, i keep talking about our producers about the stunning possibility that the way this thing is going with the supreme court within the next couple of years with briar, you could have a 7-2 court for the next 30 years. we haven't had a 7-2 court in one ideological direction like this in our lifetimes. we have a very good chance of having -- if this keeps going, if we get another kavanaugh after this and after that if trump gets re-elected or next year. you have to bet mitch mcconnell say i'll jam somebody through the minute somebody dies.
>> they will clearly do it rapidly. look what they did last fall. no investigation. run it through. ignore everything. get somebody who is young. >> can you arrest the intention of the american voter on the progressive side, the pro-choice side? do you people know just like the gun people know only about guns. can you know this one. the outrage is there. the problem is we don't have control over the senate. i think we have oo chance of winning the senate and the presidency. >> they are getting it. partly because groups have started in the wake of the 2016
loss to educate them. i think what is honestly going to take is for a defeat on an item like abortion rights where it becomes exceptionally real of the consequences of these court decisions really do matter for progressive priorities. that's when you see the galvanization. i don't think it has taken hold broadly. >> thank you so much. thank you. up next, democrats put a firm offer on the table. a really good one. do they say let's do background checks? we'll have a ceremony, the flags will go up. it's a deal and then trump, will he wiggle out? what's his excuse to hide this
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background checks. it's been over 200 days, 201, i believe, since the house of representatives passed a bipartisan bill that would strengthen background checks in yet despite those two facts we still have no idea ha policy president trump might support. >> welcome back to hard ball. that was chuck schumer this afternoon who along with speaker pelosi has put a firm offer on the table on gun legislation. in a phone call with president trump yesterday the two top democrats in congress said quote we made it clear to the president that any proposal he endorses that does not include background check legislation will not get the job done. as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn't have guns will still have access. knowing the president's penchant for tv moments they added we promised the president that if he endorses this legislation, that's the background legislation and gets senator
mcconnell to act on what the house has passed we would join him for a historic signing ceremony at the rose garden. the white house called the conversation cordial and said the president made no commitments on the legislation but they would continue to work to find a bipartisan solution. today the president cast doubt on that. in a tweet he quoted former new hampshire governor who told fox news, democrats would rather talk about gun control than get something done. in his own words trump added the big questions are will they move the goal posts and is this just a ploy to take your guns away. i hope not on both counts but i'll be sure to figure it out. is the president caught between the popular position that the democrats hold here for background checks and the nra? he seems to be scared he might offend the nra if he does anything good. that's coming up next. f he does anything good. that's coming up next.
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welcome back. president trump has kept democrats and republicans in the dark on what, if anything, he'll do for gun legislation for safety. mitch mcconnell said he will not bring anything to the senate floor till the president makes clear where he stands. yesterday white house adviser kellyanne conway did little to clarify the president's position. >> mitch mcconnell says he wants to know what the president will support. has he made a decision on that? >> the president has been actively engaged on the second amendment issue the entire time. particularly after the mass shootings in el paso and dayton and odessa after that. he has talked just this week, i was there, he talked to republican and democratic united states senators who also were actively engaged. >> i don't hear support for a
specific piece of legislation. does that mean the decision has not been made? >> well, there are pieces of legislation that already exist that we have looked at. the president has been briefed on. many of my colleagues missed their summer vacations. they have been working on this every single day. >> actively engaged. i didn't hear jack from kellyanne conway. i think the democratic leadership has pulled a smart saying here a firm offer, mr. president. you sign background check legislation and it fills the loopholes in and we'll be there to help you celebrate it on the rose garden with flags flying, the whole works and he goes back into god knows where to hide. they got him, i think. your thoughts. >> i agree with that. i don't think the president knows what to do. this isn't difficult.
this bill has been on the table for over 200 days. it's the least you can do and it's supported by 90% of the american public. it's real easy to tell mitch mcconnell to get it moving and sign it and we'll come over and sing kumbaya. he goes back home and gets a phone call from fox news or the nra and suddenly he's waviiveri again. >> i think the president is scared of the nra. >> the president supports universal background checks but when it comes time to compromise and maybe that requires him to get at odds with his base a little bit, he struggles with it and he diters. i think that's process we're seeing now. >> does he want the most far right vote in the country. the most crazy far right wing whatever. he's afraid if he loses any of that from the far right he'll
never make it up in themiddle. >> his base is sacred. people who turned out and intent about thinker views. i think he's expressed this a number of times. he does support stronger background checks. he's worried that could cost him in 2020. >> i think the democrats are where they ought to be and not go over to the left and talk about con ffiscation, al a la beto. >> this is a minimum. you don't back up from the minimum. 90% of the public, including gun owners support this.
to say the president believes in his heart and won't do it is like saying we're offering thoughts and prayers to the victims. here it is. let's get it done. the house has passed two of these bills. the house judiciary has passed three bills. next week they will have a hearing on assault weapons. it's not something that you can back up from. this is the minimum. >> pete buttigieg pushed back. here is what buttigieg told cnn yesterday. >> did beto o'rourke say something that's playing into the hands of republicans? >> yes. right now we an amazing moment on our hand. we have agreement among the american people for not just universal background checks but in favor of high capacity
magazine, banning the sale of assault weapons. this is golden moment to finally do something. >> former congressman beto o'rourke wrote leaving millions of weapons of war on the streets because trump and mcconnell are at least pretending to be open to reforms. that calculation and fear is what got us here in first place. well, i don't know about beto in this one. he's getting a will the of good ink because he's showing a lot of passion. is he hurting the democratic party position? >> he's doing what the president does. he's going for his base. he's going for those hard core democratic voters and in a primary that might be smart but what buttigieg is saying i'm going to go for the voters in the middle. >> congresswoman, how do you buy back ten million ar-15s. you must turn them in. this is confiscation. i think pete buttigieg is right.
don't screw up your position when it's really strong. >> i agree with the mayor because he mentioned all the bills we have passed or introduced including the one that i'm a major co-sponsor of about the multiple clips. you don't need more than ten bullets at one time. that's what called the most harm in the shootings. beto has put that out as goal. if you want to get some of those weapons out, first outlaw the sell of future assault weapons and do a voluntary buy back. maybe you use tax credits to get people to turn them in. you're going to see that clip over and over again because nra won't say that they want to take your assault weapons. they say the democrats are coming in your guns, which is not true. >> well, beto is. it's great to have you on. it looks great out there. i see the strip moving behind you. a lot of action tonight. thank you. >> thank you. up next, an obama cabinet
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now there's less pain immediately following injection. we've reduced the size of the needle and removed the citrate buffers. and it has the same effectiveness you know and trust. humira citrate-free is here. a little change can make a big difference. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. ask your doctor about humira citrate-free. here's to you. welcome back to hardball. right now elizabeth warren is
holding a big rally in washington square park where she's detailing her new anti-corruption plan in a crowd of several thousands. yet another sign that warren stealing some of bernie sanders thunder on theft. she's picked up the endorsement of the working progressive group that backed sanders back in 2016. yesterday former vice president joe biden delivered what nbc describes as his most significant speech on race at the historic 16th street baptist church in birmingham, alabama which was bombed by the kkk in 1963. >> we must acknowledge that there can be no realization of the american dream whoithout grappling with the original sin of slavery. domestic terrorism and white supremacy has been the antagonist of our highest ideals from before the founding of this country. >> biden picked up the endor
endorsement yesterday of gonzalez who switched his support from julian castro after castro picked the fight with la debate. let's watch. >> and we need to narrow the field and unitas democrats to defeat trump. in november 2020 and that's why i believe i'm moving my support to vice president joe biden. you're polling in the low single digits and you're not raising any resources and you're fracturing your party and you're just getting your supporters to be upset at other candidates, it can't be a good thing for our party. >> i'm joined by ken zally czar. he's got a big announcement for us on 2020. stick with us for a minute. in fact, here he is. i thought it was coming up. senator, thank you so much. mr. secretary, what is your announcement tonight? we're all ears. >> chris, i'm honored to endorse
joe biden for president of the united states. joe is a uniter. he is results oriented and he is one of the guys -- we need to have him in the white house today because the country more than ever before needs somebody to unite our country and right now we live in a very dangerous world, both here at home and across the world and there's nobody that knows the world issues or the national issues as joe biden does. i had the honor working with him in the u.s. senate, serving alongside him in the barack obama cabinet. i know how effective he is. >> do you think he has the political stamina to fight it through all the way to milwaukee? >> absolutely he does. when you think about his life and the suffering that he has encountered and persevered, he's picked himself up and he's kept on going because he has a heart of a public servant. he wants to make sure that our world delivers on that covenant that we so believe in america
that we're on the arc of progress as dr. king would say. that's the arc of progress that joe biden has been working on for all of his life. when you think about what happened in his own family life, more recently with his son beau and back when he was 29 with the death of his wife and daughter, the car wreck, in all those circumstances he's always pulled himself back up and he's always persevered and he's going to persevere again. i'd look more forward to working with him on this campaign and i look forward to him being president of the united states. i'm here in denver i remember in february of 2009 i flew out with president obama. he signed the recovery bill to save the country from a second great discussion. joe biden received a call from president obama. i want you to run this recovery. so joe biden did that, and because of that the united states avoided a second great depression and the economic foundation which was set forth by president obama and joe biden
is essentially the economic strength we have here today. he knows how to get to results. here home on the domestic front and here at home dealing with issues from middle east, to latin america. i watched him close up as he has dealt with issues that would escape resolution for most people. today health care. we have health care in america, obamacare, the affordable care act because joe biden was out there working with the members of the house and the senate who were not sure they wanted to vote for it. at the end of the day we have 20 million americans who have health insurance because of the fact that joe biden fought for it. when you have those kinds of results and that kind of a track record, that's what the united states needs today. we need to avoid the huge did i advice sie divisiveness and have somebody like joe biden bring the united states of america and its people together to solve the challenges we face in this country. >> great to have you on and
great to have you make news. anybody is welcome to make big news like that. secretary ken salazar speaking from denver, his home state and city. thank you so much senator and former hud secretary -- interior secretary, i'm sorry, somebody's correcting me. i know it's interior secretary. thank you, mr. secretary and senator. thank you. up next, could a democrats push too far left, push americans to stick with the devil they know? you're watching "hardball." so they'll be okay? i think they'll be fine. voya. helping you to and through retirement.
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children in urgent need. it's not just about opening up your home; it is also about opening up your heart. consider fostering. here's a warning label for 2020. in 1994 early in the bill clinton era the gallup poll said 1/4 called themselves liberals. today that's doubled to half the democrats. this explains why the progressive left of the party are showing more combined support in the polls than the moderate joe biden is. the 2020 question is how this progressive advantage in the primaries adds up in the general election. would a liberal victory in the democratic primaries bring liberal victory against donald trump? let's look at the arithmetic.
the gallup poll shows half the democrats describe themselves as half. it finds only 1/4 of all voters are liberals. according to an august nbc news wall street journal poll only half of the self-described liberals view themselves as very liberal. that's the rub. it doesn't mean the rib rales would be outvoted in november 2020. it does mean the other side, the forces backing donald trump, will make ideology the issue in 2020. it could mean that by sheer forces of numbers and advertising money the 2020 debate will be turned on the bold democratic proposals on health care, immigration. it means the progressive quarter of the election will be by next summer playing defense. to recap, victory in the democratic caucuses and primaries is not the same as victory for next november. that would require a liberal democratic candidate to win over the moderates she or he has beaten in the caucuses and
primaries first. it will then mean beating donald trump who will scare moderate democrats into believing they're better off with the devil they know. that's "hardball." thanks for joining us. "all in with chris hayes" begins right now. >> the saudis are going to have a lot of involvement in this if we decide to do something. >> the president awaits instruction from the orb. >> saudi arabia pays cash. >> tonight is the president outsourcing his duties as commander in chief to saudi arabia and what is he getting out of it. >> saudi arabia and i get along great with all of them. they buy apartments for me. they spend 40 million, 50 million. >> plus, why adam schiff is raising alarm bells over an intelligence community coverup. >> i think it's fair to assume this involves the president, people around him or both. >> this is our livelihood. >> michael more on