tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 14, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
>> right. >> there's a history of bringing down nominees. >> thank you panel. see you back here tomorrow 6 m p.m. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. how deep does this go. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. failed to tell mike pence director mike flynn did speak with the russian ambassador about sanctions about sanction president slapped on them for interfearing with our elections.
the vp only learned the truth five days ago. which raises the question what was trump and flynn talking all the this time. after he called russian was trump in co hoops with flynn, was he open up this all by himself. sean spicer confirmed reports that the acting general told -- white house does not believe flynn did anything that constituted a legal violation. let's watch. >> the acting attorney general informed white house counsel that they wanted to give "heads up" to us in comments he had sent to the vice president in particular. the white house counsel involved the president immediately. president asked him to conduct a review whetherhere was legal situation. that was determined it wasn't.
the president believe at the time what he had been told. he was proved to be correct. it came down to matter of trust. >> that's not a problem that general flynn discussed sanctions with russia. >> i cannot say clearly enough there's nothing in what general flynn of connecting himself was an issue it was his misleading the vice president and others and not having a firming grasp on his -- >> the obama administration unveiled sanctions. that was made public in by david iing nayous. democrats on capitol hill called for an investigation. >> general flynn's resignation is not end of the story it is
merely the beginning. their needs to be independent and transparent investigation because the white house knew for weeks that general flynn mislead the vice president. that is discussion about sanctions with it's russian government could compromise our security because he was subject to blackmail. >> the new york time reported that fbi interviewed flynn last nth after conversation with russian ambassador. glenn thrush and david i nationous that broke the story. i guess this gets entangled. hallie, what grabs us is -- you have how can you not tell the vice president for two weeks that he was putting out the wrong story when he was told to
put out stories there was no conversation of sanctions, when in fact the white house knew the president nknew and never told the vice president. >> right. this idea that vice president pence did not was unaware of these inconsistencies existed. i want to share information with with you from white house officials. but i found it interesting according to this official the vice president and mike flynn spoke on friday a day after washington post came out, the vice president learned all of this through media reports that came out on thursday, a day after according to the press secretary, mik flynn modify his story, if you will.
attacked on that sentence in addition he didn't not believe but i could be misremembering. i'm paraphrasing. i'm not sure. i asked about the attitude currently of mike flynn, this is something going to come out and speak publicly against the president, i'm today he seem upbeat, rather stoic about all of this. there was interview that came out daily caller when is an outlet founded by fox news, in which flynn defended himself. he crossed no lines in the conversation with the russian ambassador. and was particularly pe tubbed by leaks from inside of the white house. flynn felt am by ambiguity
around him was lifting. 12 hours later we were hearing that the president is -- >> thank you for that scoop. you put the dates together when the january 6 when white house informed about conversation about foreign ambassador, that's a differential in time. is there a reason why he never told vice president what was going ton and let him go out there tell the wrong story. >> no. this is about a matter of trust. and i think there's a reasonable question for mike pence by president trump withheld from him the information that we have been upset and writing about. he allowed pence to be out there
advancing a narrative we know to be false. the president allowed him to be in that same situation. increasingly as i look at this, i have the feeling that president trump intended to try to ride this out until it became public, that's to the reporting of the "washington post, "-- >> i wa nt to go to glenn on this. pence should fire trump for the same thing trump fired flynn, you didn't tell me you trusted me. you give me the wrong story and let me hang on it. >> i think this is what he signed up for. i talk -- i have been talking with the staff on and can off about there. there's a lot of anger on his staff and that came through to him. i don't think mike pence is expressing his anger to trump.
he is expressing his anger to mike flynn. flynn was saying this could have been a mistake in my recollection that's what wush pushed pence. he slow to anger anthat's what pushed him. that in addition to the headline that came out yesterday about the fbi investigation i think trump you're reporting is right, trump is totally willing to wait this out. he was in no rush to get rid of flynn. the main reason is because it looked bad getting rid of security advise r three weeks in the game. >> the big question, you write front page story, the is the big story here that flynn blew it. is the big story there's
deference to russia. i think the cause and affect is the reverse. i think the president wasn't going to act. as that's going to be a signature of his presidency. this is way that washington can push back -- >> i mean the people that can talk to the press. >> right. >> when you trump what trump means if you saying to you i zn do anything, if you know what the leak is, you not creating a leak -- they are blowing the whistle on somebody and somebody blew the whistle on trump and the team. i would think thank god somebody
is looking out for me because trump said he would stop, the secrecy of washington. >> i think the leaks -- i would extend the universe of leaks -- you cannot aue with donald trump across the desk in the oval office. it doesn't work. you lose your job or you say thank you sir, and walk out of the room. you go on sunday shows or go on this program and commute with him that way or now in the washingt washington tradition leak unsatisfactorily facts and let the -- >> trump blames you for putting
stories in the "washington post," which is doing a good job, i love it, because we are getting great coverage, you must have been up all night with it -- >> it's been a good time for our business. we're doing our job. it does worry me the president has identified illegal leaking is the thing is worried about. it worries me the chairman of the intelligence house committee said the same thing today, there's focus on leaking, not underlining behavior. that's worrisome. the director of the fbias reluctant to give information to the white house showing that mike pence had been lied to
because she was afraid that the white house would interfere with the fbi's ongoing investigation -- >> she was afraid or comey was afraid. >> comey was afraid. he said don't give them this information. he later changed his mind. what does it tell you? it tells you the white house is going to sabotage ongoing investigation. that's disturbing. >> they thought comey had finger on the -- this would bear that out, right. >> he wants to preserve integrity of this investigation. the only thing we're going to get out of this is that these investigation are completed. that's what comey is trying to protect that. >> i think that's true of calculations of the intelligence
community on what information they give the white house what information they give about sources of the information because of concern about you don't know what the story is behind this administration's aditude is behind russia. >> there is dangerous, you are starting to see roy blunt on the republican side, lindsey graham and mitch mcconnell may be open to investigation. the further that moves down the road, the bigger the trouble for the president. >> congratulations for saturd"sy night live". >> i'm bigger than life. >> chuck schumer says we want justice department doing it but not jeff sessions. is that thing that would scare
them? >> i think it would scare the hell out of them. they are clinton hunters from the 1990s so they understand the danger of appointing a investigation. >> they are going to -- he put tweet, because he you got what you paid for. what goes around comes around. the hillary people are thrilled with this stuff sfl. coming up reaction from capitol hill. there's no need to investigate flynn and russia ties.
tonight cracks are starting to form. plus with 25 days it's worth remember what he said about hillary clinton last summer catch this for those who believe this what you call getting even athe republican convention. >> attempt of what she did, i would be in jail today. crooked hillary clinton leave this race now. he was leading the lock up her number, that ahead. the white house up heaval becoming the new normal. a slew of leaks. let me finish with.
we came to lunch at the white house today new jersey governor. he was shut out of the job because of prosecutor son-in-law jared kushner could chris stee get another chance. the conversation had to do with combatting drug abuse. we'll be right back. ♪ nah. what else? what if we hire more sales reps? ♪ nah. what else? what if we digitize the whole supply chain? so people can customize their bike before they buy it. that worked better than expected. i'll dial it back. yeah, dial it back. just a little. live business, powered by sap. when you run live, you run simple.
i would like to know did they just do this as a rogue general flynn did he decide to call russians up and say we're going to have a different view of sanctions don't worry about it or did it come from someone else in the white house. >> that's my question for senator graham. who set him up. who got him on the phone with the russian ambassador. that's senator graham asking the
question. he pushed to resign as national security adviser. there's investigation under way in various committees on the congress. roy blunt told radiostation that flynn should be questioned as soon as possible. >> the intelligence committee is looking into this. we should talk to general flynn soon and that should answer a lot of questions. what did he know, what did he do, and is there reason to believe anyone else knew it and didn't take the action they should have taken. >> chuck schumer called upon law enforcement to conduct
independent investigation. i want to get your thinking on this. the big question is what lindsey graham raised does anybody think that mike flynn went out to establish this relationship with the russian government. while he chatting about sanctions over the phone without lead from the president. it seems to me that putin guy talking to trump guy would be an leash, they would not be having get together across lines. your thoughts? >> how many times had general flynn talked to people in russia during the campaign. what, if anything, happened when he was in russia in 2015. what kind of contactsere there. it was not a coincidents that
the came out two hours about what trump said on the does about grabbing women. it has to be looked at and the public has right to see it. the double standard is stung. keep in mind, jason chaffetz issued 70 subpoenas after head of the fbi determine it was -- so the notion that there's no public hearings going on no questions being asked and answers are not being provided in public forum demand we have a select committee that looks at all of this and let's public make up their minds as to whether or not this administration can be trusted. >> let ask the question that
lindsey graham raised, if you put this together, it an established fact that putin held clinton. they didn't leak it out of the dnc because of that fact, not fake news, reality, they last administration under president obama put on sanctions, they sent people home, they were spooked to begin with, but they sent them home to moscow. this fact that mike flynn was on the phone talking about sanctions. do we have enough evidence already as fact that there's been an interesting relationship intriging maybe illegal between this flrgs administration and
the russian. do we have enough to go with an investigation now? >> absolutely. as you know chris in the senate every committee as jurisdiction but not overall of this. that's why select committees are formed to look at cia and fbi and military all in one setting. mitch mcconnell and paul ryan said let's do it in the intelligence committee. what does it mean, it is not done in public. i think there's was an effort to try to tant this down, look the other way and that's what is a problem here. i don't know what the all the fact are at there point and i want the truth to come out, but for these republicans who spent days and days and millions and millions of dollars over repeated -- >> publicized. >> that's why i think it's
important that we apply the same standard people in america are sick of this rabbit partisan ship. that's do this above board, by the book, and have the investigation that can ensure -- i think the administration should govern this -- >> i love the purple state like missouri. lieutenant general michael flynn is the outspoken critic of hillary clinton. he called her reckless and -- he led the cheers. >> we do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law. look her up. that's right.
look her up. i have called on hillary clinton to drop out of the race because she, she put our nation's security at extremely high risk with her careless use of a private e-mail server. if i, i guy who knows this business, if tenth of what she did, i would be in jail today. >> did you know the way hsaid she. he didn't like that wor she. i thought it was odd way with disgust the pro noun "she." >> i value the fact that our military leaders try to avoid partisan ship.
physic if you're going to lead this nation in national security you have to conduct yourself in a dignified way and make sure the american people don't think are you playing sides. i thought it was odd choice given some of the things he did during the campaign. >> -- thank you. i'm joined by msnbc michael steel. it's interesting to watch roy blunt and lindsey graham. there's a pattern of this and knowing trump's ego, can we imagine him not responding to
the cupid's arrow coming from moscow. so i don't think it's mike flynn on the horn talking we'll walk the sanctions out. >> that's the problem it is that phone call on the day he placed relates back to the campaign, i think the administration has a view that if it can go away and not deal with it. >> that's what david say who broke the story, it look like the president sat on it and didn't tell his vice president and let his vp tell a false story. >> they didn't anticipate correctly was that the press would follow the bread crumbs and it would reveal what has lead to the -- >> i like that, the bread
crumbs. >> yes. so here we are. so i think the call by common sense republicans who understand that there's a political consequence that can be paid from this as well. this is is not the no way to start an administration. >> who can walk in the room tell the president to do the right thing. >> that's the question. not to go tell the president to resign or get impreached to go into that room say we have a problem and we need to deal with it. >> the problem with that is like nixon and water gate, you're the guy that got him on the phone in the first place. >> that figure can do that now if that -- is it paul ryan,
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this just came out. wikileaks, i love wikileaks. you have to go back to wikileaks. >> as the candidate saw president trump loved hacked e-mails wikileaks that loved it. now the president, president trump is blaming what he call illegal leaks for the downfall of national security adviser mike flynn. why are there so many illegal leaks coming out from washington. sean spicer reiterated the president's concerns, he reiterates in his briefing this afternoon. >> there's a story here within a amount of leaks coming out of people entrusted with national
security secrets are leaking it out. that's a really concern for this president. >> president trump amlies on the right are blaming leaks for the drama unfold at white house. here they go. >> i think this was the death by a thousand leaks. we have seen -- >> exactly. >> a leak problem, we wrote about this three or four week, the leaks coming out of this administration and the transition before the administration were -- at level that i don't remember seeing for quite sometime. >> who tapped the phone, who is listening to it. those are legitimate questions to ask. leak are damaging to our nation security and we need to look into it. >> "the washington post" wrote national security information.
trump order internal information to find the leakers. steve -- i have to start with -- it to let the public know stuff. there's constituency is the public. they know who they are severing, they are serving the public and the reports carry the news. that's what you do for a living and let people in the government tell the people what's going on. >> sure. there's a long tradition in history of whistle blowing, there's a distinction between leaks and what is good reporting
to ferret out the truth what general flynn may or may not have discussed with the russian ambassador. are people willing to talk to us and reporters try to teas out the truth that the white house doesn't want out there. >> i don't think the public care about leaks. >> reagan hated it. he told kasie to investigate the leaks. they hate it. >> you can't check e-mails. nobody is duffous enough to -- >> there may be. >> what do you make of it. trump is caught to national security. mike flynn talking to russian ambassador about sanctions, it may be a logan act violation but
it could be a little merky, the president suspect goiisn't goin us. how can he blame the media when he is keeping it secret from everybody. >> i think he liked general flynn. i think he got -- >> he said i don't trust the guy. >> general flynn changed his answer and made vice president go out there with the wrong story and it was lasted and he had to take steps and he accepted the resignation. it's right thing for him to do. it's amazing how people are criticizing him for doing it. >> it's a great story out there to what extent did the president know about the conversation with the russians.
because tom must be thrilled he was elected president. that was a factor, determined by the last administration where there's sanctions against russian and have them talk about those sanctions with the russians are we to believe trump knew any of it. >> it's unfolding in realtime before but after -- white house council's office said flynn has not been honest and has compromised himself and that was condition vaed to the president that evening. it's unclear what was conveyed. about two weeks the president has known these conversations have gone on to some extent. yes, and he kept it to himself. >> how is this pence thing
working out? >> i think it's working out great. >> even though the president doesn't tell him what's going on. >> we don't know what the president told him. >> what he heard in the papers. >> he probably lied and the president gave him the ultimate penalty, kicked him off the team. >> it's not gad for your resume. >> you don't think he will have an enemy in mike flynn. >> absolutely not. >> thank you for reporting. up next, a flynn fall-out. why do things go from here. roundtable up next. "hardball" where the action is.
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it's day 25 of the trump administration. resignation of general michael flynn has raised more questions. i want you to start, this is wide open roundtable, i want to know where the story is going. last night about -- early in the evening kellyanne conway was defending it saying it was not going happen. all of a sudden flynn was fired because they don't trust him. this story keeps developing hour by hour. where is it going. is it going to relationship of the donald trump including flynn. something too tweet for law to
like. what's it about. >> it's going to what donald trump know. we have been asking that question since the campaign. we have been asking about it with regard to russian hacking about what did donald trump know. we have been asking the question about what did he know about that telephone call. republicans and can democrats alike who worked in that national security office restrains that incoming security adviser would not tell president-elect what he is talk about. even if it's not specifically about sanctions, even about the expulsion of the 35 russian spice spies no way he would voo talked to the president about that. >> he didn't inad vertantly talk to the president about that.
you have to add to that that president-elect tweeted after the russian dide not to do tick for tat expungs. so you know he was paying attention to this at the very same time spicer tells us -- >> you know why they didn't retaliate because we chatted and i calmed things down. >> if you look at what happened last night, kellyanne conway said resigned, he fallen on his sword. the story comes out it's difficult for trump. he didn't want to go to talk to flynn. immediately they say he fired him. >> -- e extreme prejudice. >> they said it's because he wasn't truth worthy, why did
they through that on top if it. >> because he wasn't. >> what are you talking, i don't know about that. >> there's so many different layers of arguments here. there's kellyanne conway, sean spicer elbowing -- >> they are not -- >> they are not -- mike expense who has reason to feel seriously aggrieved in how -- >> you must have been watching a lot of veepbout this. >> others in the white house staff i'm curious whether there's other heads to roll in the white house and whether this ramp up the senate to
investigate. >> he only cares about appearance. >> roundtable sticking with us. this is getting interesting. this is "hardball" where the action is. a talented workforce, and world-class innovations. like in plattsburgh, where the most advanced transportation is already en route. and in corning, where the future is materializing. let us help grow your company's tomorrow - today at esd.ny.gov the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says, "you picked the wrong insurance plan." no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car plus depreciation. liberty mutual insurance.
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if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands... step on up and talk to your doctor today. we're back with the "hardball" round table. ruth, tell me something i don't know. >> so donald trump has spent a lot of time complaining about how democrats are obstructing confirmation of his nominees. well, guess what? he's going to have only himself to blame after the cabinet is finished. there are only three deputies that have been identified of all the cabinet departments, to fill this void. and hardly anybody else is going to be home alone at all those agencies so some of the -- if you thought -- >> whose fault is the fact -- don't they have to -- doesn't the senate have to confirm those deputies? >> yes, the senate can only confirm people if they're nominated. nobody has been nominated? >> is he leading up to the cabinet secretary? >> he's fighting them you saw
with elliot abrams. there's a lot of division. and it's not just deputies. all the things down. you're going to have a government in continuing disarray. >> john? >> house republicans are asking epa to begin an investigation on their scientists, alleging they're using encrypted e-mails and other technology that makes it impossible to see what they're using to communicate with each other and they are alleging they are conspiring against the new epa administrator. >> people with brains are keeping to themselves. >> i spent the day talking to house and senate folks investigating michael flynn and you may not flow there are apparently transcripts of these conversations that he had with the russian ambassador. >> when do we see that? i want to read them. >> thank you so much. we want to know what he's talking too the russians about. thank you. when we return, let me finish trump watch. you're watching "hardball."
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trump watch, tuesday, february 14, 2017. in washington, the spectacle of a political hanging creates a good bit of shchadenfreude, the feeling that you get when someone else is suffering and not you. it's why i don't like saying it, but iwill. body in washington, d.c. is ever late for a haing. it's the one show pple will drop everything else in order not to miss and this, let's accept it, is the reason why
people get fired. it grabs the attention away from that big, bad story -- the guy doing the hanging would prefer you not ask too many questions about it. is the big story here about mike flynn, or is it about the half-told mystery of what the russians, vladimir putin, that is, were up to in the 2016 presidential elections? and closer to home, what was his electoral beneficiary up to? by that i mean our new president. did donald trump's team ever send a thank you note to moscow? did they ever whisper that the russian government should hold off on bad behavior before the new team gets to town and makes things square between us? was there a message sent back to putin that his kindness before november 8 would be rewarded after january 20? on that point, what was the deal between the russian benefactor, putin, and the american beneficiary, donald trump, during those weeks. did trump say nothing when he saw cupid's arrow flying through the air? did he not respond at all when vlad the impaler impaled hillary? or did he send some note of
gratitude that he might some day soon be called to explain. it's all interesting. the dots are there. we need someone to see if they're connected, don't you think? anyway, happy valentine's day. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> yes, that's right. lock her up. >> general michael flynn is out. >> i haven't seen that. i'll look at that. >> and president trump is under fire. >> what did the president know and when did he know it? >> tonight, three and a half weeks into donald trump's presidency, a full-blown scandal in the white house. >> i think the first question should be where was the department of justice in this? >> tonight, new bipartisan calls for investigations. >> did he just do this as a rogue general flynn? or did icome from somebody else in the white house? >> major new questions about the white house version of events. >> i think misleading the vice president r