tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 31, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
stuff. it goes above and beyond the show if that's the kind of thing you're looking for. i thank you for watching. i hope to see you tomorrow night. as for "hardball" it, starts right now. >> all the president's men? let's play "hardball." starts right now. >> all the president's men? let's play "hardball."," it sta right now. >> all the president's men? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in baltimore. as the special counsel's case against the president for obstruction of justice gross stronger by the day, president trump is attempting to beat the rap before it's too late. he and his republican allies are preparing a frontal assault on this country's law enforcement institutions. the motive is to taint the government's investigation and there be undermine its administration of justice. the trump attack hinges on a memo that trump's republican
minions on the house intelligence committee voted to release on monday. drafted by staffers working for the chairman of that committee, trump supporter devin nunes, it moves that a trump associate was wrongly surveilled by the justice department and the fbi. but republicans have a bigger goal in mind here. they say it shows corruption in the fbi that is worse than watergate. proving that special counsel robert mueller's investigation is based on a fraud. with reports indicating the president could use this document as a pretext to fire deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who obviously oversees the special counsel's probe, a top democrat says its release could spark a constitutional crisis. well, now in an unprecedented move, the fbi is going public with their objections. and is challenging the very content of the memo itself. today they released a statement saying we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the
memo's accuracy. at 5:00 p.m. yesterday, the white house said that there are no current plans to release the memo. however, following his state of the union address just a few hours later, the president was caught on a how the microphone reassuring a republican lawmaker he had every intention of releasing that memo. >> just release the memo. >> oh, yeah, don't worry. 100%. can you imagine? >> 100%. this morning the president's top aide john kelly further suggested that its release is a foregone conclusion. >> as far as the memo goes, the memo came over. we've got our folks in the our national security lawyers in the white house that work for me work for the president. they're slicing and dicing it, looking at it so we know what it means and what it understands. >> did you see it. >> i did. >> what did you think? >> it will be released here pretty quick i think. the whole world can see it. >> according to "washington post," that memo could be used as a pretext to fire rod
rosenstein, a move that could pave the way to remove robert mueller, as well. cnn is further reporting tonight during a white house meeting with rosenstein in december, president trump wanted to know where the special counsel's russia investigation was heading. and he also wanted to know whether rosenstein was on my team. that was the question. that's according to sources familiar with the meeting. as we know, this republican-led assault on the fbi and justice department comes as the president is under under criminal investigation by the very institutions for possible obstruction of justice. democratic congressman adam schiff, ranking member on the house intelligence committee, today warned that the nunes memo could provoke a constitutional crisis if it's used by the president to further interfere the ongoing federal investigation. >> the goal is to put out a document that will set a narrative that helps the president and that narrative is is the fbi is corrupt. what they're doing is corrupt. the whole investigation is corrupt. mueller is corrupt.
you should bring an end to this investigation. that is i think singly destructive and encourages the white house to engage in conduct that could bring about a it youal crisis. >> joining me is julia ansley with nbc news. susan page, washington bureau chief for "usa today" and mika eoyang, a former staffer on the house intelligence committee itself. in that record, talk about what the republicans are up to. what is chairman nunes up to, julia? is he trying to destroy the prosecution against the president? >> it's clear he's breaking precedent. we have seen in the past that these committees may have oversight authority but they don't have whistleblower authority. so at had point, he is trying to undermine the investigation by showing just pieces of what led to the fisa application. >> why is he doing this? >> because, chris, he wants to show that what led to this fisa
application was just pieces that came from will the dossier which has already been undermined by republicans because they think that democrats were the so source of funding for this. they want to show that this entire investigation hinges on uncredible material and unfortunately, what we've heard is that nunes and possibly other members of congress have been talking to the white house as they've drafted this memo. which further raises questions about its accuracy and its bias. >> mieke, here's the question. he's chairman of the intelligence committee, devin nunes. his job is to get to the bottom of what went on with regard to the russians in the 2016 presidential election and what role politicians may have played in this country especially the president in helping them help themselves to change the course of that election. my question is, what is nunes up to? it seems like he's not trying to pursue the truth. >> no, he's not. at this point, he is just trying
to protect the president, not the office of the president but the individual person. he's willing to sully the reputation of the department of justice and the fbi to do that. his process for doing that is by cherry picking pieces of information to make this can misleading claim that the fbi was somehow relying on this one piece of evidence. when you look at a fisa application, the fbi has to rely on all kinds of pieces of evidence and have to verify the accuracy of them before a judge who obviously independently determines whether or not they're okay. so nunes, his piecemeal approach is misleading. >> it seems to me that i don't know the guy that well. i'm not impressed with him. i get the feeling he's getting advice, supervision, direction from the white house. what's your sense? he "chi-raq" these different -- he was talking about something down at the white house. he grabbed some material last year, march last year. he went down to the old executive building and he grabbed some material and then the next day he took it to the
white house and made it look like he was whistle blowing again. he's been going all over the place for the president. is he coming up with these little scams or who is coming up with these escapades? he or somebody at the white house. looks like he's directed. >> i've never him to be a schemer. remember, he was on team trump since during the campaign. he ran transition on national security for the trump administration. displacing his predecessors, mike rogers who obviously had been a career fbi officer before becoming a member of congress. so nunes doesn't really understand the fbi or law enforcement. he doesn't necessarily understand the intelligence business. i'm not convinced that he would choose this route if he were doing it on his own. >> the president's an apparent decision comes despite repeated objections from the fbi and justice department. nbc news has confirmed that the "washington post" report that the fbi director christopher wray and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein met with administration officials this past monday two days ago to plead the case against releasing
this memo. according to a source with direct knowledge of that meeting, rosenstein said that the justice department wouldn't be able to correct a moop's inaccuracies without disclosing sources and methods and bloomberg reports wray said that the memo contains inaccurate information and paints a false narrative that according to a person familiar with the matter, those warnings appear to have fallen on deaf ears. let me go back to susan page on this. what is going on here? it's getting almost like the old mccarthy hearings. one side prosecuting the administration. that's led by, of course, bob mueller. he's prosecuting at president. he's looking for whether he did something with money laundering or collusion or obstruction. we know all that. what is the other side, the counter effort here being run by nunes apparently with the supervision of the white house? what's that about? >> you know, there is this very peculiar thing that's happened with this. it's something i've never seen before in washington which is
the justice department and fbi which are part of the trump administration are at odds with the white house over a matter of great importance to them. and we've got the white house in a coalition or working with collaborating with the house intelligence committee. and it looks like the white house is going to come down on the side of president trump's interests on the side with what the house intelligence committee wants to do, not on the side of what their own justice department and fbi want to do. the interesting thing about the fbi pushback is they're not only saying that this would compromise sources of intelligence and be damaging in that way, they're saying this report is inaccurate. will leave a misimpression, a lie to the american people. that is something that i think is quite extraordinary. i don't know if it's unprecedented. that's dangerous to say. it's something i've never seen before. >> in response to objections from the fbi and justice department, chairman nunes released a statement attacking both institutions. "it's no surprise to see the fbi
and doj issue spurious objections to allowing the american people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies. it's clear top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter intelligence investigation during agamerican political campaign." wow. let me go back to julia on this. it seems to me not everything matches history, but this use of a document, this making a big deal about this memo is very much mccarthy tactic. i have in my hand a list here, i've got a document. this use of a document to make it sound like they know anything more than the argument they've made. them have a bunch of staff people tasked with coming out to attack the whole mueller investigation and now it's called a memo, a document, like it's the declaration of independence or something. the press is going along with it. everybody in the press is talking about the memo. it looks to me like theater. your thoughts. >> right, just because you put it on paper doesn't make it
accurate and doesn't make it right to release. we've seen that #release the memo exploding across twitter over social media. it's something a lot of people have gotten behind because anyone who obviously doesn't want to think negatively about this president or who obviously doesn't think that this investigation holds any water, they want to believe that this memo is the truth that will not releasing it somehow holds back a truth. when in fact the fbi is saying that its release will give out inaccurate information to the public, that the fbi and justice department are not in a position where they'll be able to act after the fact. they can't sit there and say this is correct and this is not because then they are in the same position that they think nunes is in now where they would be releasing classified information. so they're really caught in the middle of this and the only action they could take is that statement we saw today, chris, where they're able to warn everyone before it comes out, but afterwards, they're sitting on their hands really. >> mika, back in watergate days there was a lot of pride in the
republican party and that pride is your mounted any loyalty to nixon, the president. howard baker and the rest of them were trying to figure out what did the president know and when. they're involved in getting the taping system out as anyone else. they were trying to find the truth. they weren't taking orders from the white house. it seems to me that the division of powers in our country and the checks and balances are not being honored here. why is the chairman of an intelligence committee which is supposed to be bipartisan by its nature working for the white house? >> it's unclear what his motivation is and yes decided to get on the trump train. it's very clear they are putting their partisanship over the national security interests. in fact, every single republican on the party according to the transcript released today voted against hearing from the fbi about their national security concerns on this memo. and it's cherry picked information before they released. let's remember 15 years ago, we went to war in iraq because a white house cherry picked
intelligence. it highlighted the things they thought it would make its case and buried the things that were doubts. we took this nation in a disastrous war. we have career law enforcement officials say is incomplete information and it's very misleading. >> dick cheney said things that weren't true. the "washington post" also reportedness that house speaker paul ryan actively backed congressman nunes in his request for documents from the justice department and the fbi. ryan did so despite objections from the fbi director wray picked by the president and deputy attorney general rosenstein hob earlier this month waged a last ditch effort to avoid giving republican lawmakers access to intelligence they considered so insensitive that it could not leave their control. yesterday, ryan, the speaker also backed the release of the documents but insists it has nothing do with the special counsel's investigation. has nothing to do with bob mueller. here we go. >> this is a completely separate
matter from bob mueller's investigation. and his investigation should be allowed to take its course. there may have been malfeasance at the fbi by certain individuals. so it is our job conducting transparent oversight of the executive branch to get to the bottom of that. >> the president wants to fire deputy ag rod rosenstein, do you think that would be a wise decision. >> i think rod rosenstein is doing a fine job. i have no reason to see why he should do that. >> remember george zimmer the stand your ground guy from florida who obviously killed somebody in florida because he said he had the right to fight anybody who obviously approached hip. i know it's a crude reference but why is the president saying everything i'm doing here in terms of obstruction of justice which would look like obstruction of justice is just "depending myself"? here he is building the case that the fbi and the rest of them are all doing stuff that's just going after them. they're sort of jumping him. he has a right to defend
himself. it seems that's the case he's making with supporters out there. >> it's certainly true that the president does not seem to recognize the lines in terms of dealing with law enforcement agencies including the justice department and fbi that previous presidents have recognized as being appropriate. he treats it as just another department of the government of which he is in charge. i think these attacks that he's been making we've seen him and his associates make on the fbi and the justice department are part of a broader effort to raise questions about anyone who obviously would be involved in bringing charges against him or a negative report what he's done. we've seen attacks on the news media on mueller's investigation, on the fbi, on the justice department. i think it's all an effort to kind of lay the ground work to raise questions whatever damage collusions they may or may not come up with. >> i think it's setting up a situation if mueller comes out with a report on obstruction of justice or collusion with the russians during the campaign or something to do with laundering,
money laundering with the russians and all three present -- involve hard evidence against the president, that the president will say this is just a kangaroo court. i'm not going to obey it. i'm wondering whether the house judiciary committee will the operate just like nunes, the chairman of the intelligence committee and do nothing and just let that prosecution do nothing in terms of hurting this president. thank you, julia. susan page, and mieke, thank you. as if trump's war talk about north korea last night wasn't frightening enough we got word from the white house the president's selection to be ambassador to south korea was yanked at the last minute. now that pick, victor cha, is sounding the alarm that the trump administration strategy to give north korea a bloody nose will put huge numbers of americans at risk over there. that's coming up next on this
program. plus the "hardball" roundtable and the new reporting trump wanted to know whether the deputy attorney general was on his team. it's another example of trump looking for total loyalty from everyone around him. trump bragged about the economy and manufacturing in his speech last night. not everyone's buying it. richard trum cal joins us tonight to make the case that trump has been bad for working americans. finally, let me finish tonight with trump watch. this is "hardball" where the action is. cuse me, are you awarf what's happening right now? we're facing 20 billion security events every day. ddos campaigns, ransomware, malware attacks... actually, we just handled all the priority threats. you did that? we did that. really. we analyzed millions of articles and reports. we can identify threats 50% faster. you can do that? we can do that. then do that. can we do that? we can do that.
dozens of republican lawmakers collided with a truck earlier today, killing at least one person. the house and senate republicans were en route for their annual retreat in west virginia when their train hit the vehicle. no members of congress were injured but one of the people traveling inside that truck was killed. another was seriously injured. several lawmakers hopped off the train to help the victims. they included jeff flake and
congressman brad wenstrup both of whom rushed to help the injured after a shooter opened fire at a republican baseball practice last june. they both did that, as well. we'll be right back. toid arthri? toid arthri? do what i did. ask your doctor about humira. it's proven to help relieve pain and protect joints from further irreversible damage in many adults. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 20 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. 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.
north korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles cop very soon threaten our homeland. we are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening. past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. >> welcome back to "hardball." diplomacy seemed to be far from the president's mind last night as he warned about complacency and concessions in another ominous sign "the washington post" reported that the white house's original choice for u.s. ambassador to south korea is no longer expected to be nominated after he privately expressed
disagreement in late december with the trump administration's north korean policy. nbc has confirmed that reporting. victor cha bed in the bush white house and is considered a hawk on korea. he had been vetted for months by the white house. however, he reportedly expressed opposition to the administration's threat to carry out a preventive military strike against north korea. in a "washington post" op-ed published last night he wrote about the risk to americans living in asia. to be clear, the president would be putting at risk an american population the size of a medium sized u.s. city, pittsburgh say or cincinnati. on the is this that a crazy and undeterable dictator will be rationally cowed by a demonstration of u.s. power. i'm joined by contributor howard fineman and "new york times" columnist michelle goldberg. michelle, i want to start with you. this idea that we would be able to get away psychologically by bloodying the nose of the north
korean dictator and him just take it on the nose and not do anything about it eames to be what victor cha does not find credible. >> right, and what's frightening is that victor cha seems alarmed about the trump administration's intentions. i mean, some of what trump said during the state of the union he sounded like boiler plate. we're going to be strong, we're going to match a greggs with resolution or whatever he said. but the fact that all of this had unfolded right as the state right before the state of the union, the fact that we learned that the nomination wasn't going forward that, victor cha felt like he had to come out with this op-ed warning about the recklessness of a policy that he thinks the administration might be pursuing or at least is taking seriously casts the kind of hawkishness or belligerence in the state of the union into a new light. >> what do you think, howard? i remember cy advance quit the
carter administration because of the desert one plan to go into iraq and get our who is tangs back. i just wonder or iran rather. i wonder whether this is the same kind of shot across the bow by this guy victor cha saying i'm not going to be part of something that involves such a risk of a bloody nose strategy. >> he went cy advance one better and quit before he started because he saw where this policy was headed. talking to people who obviously study this carefully and talking to people on the hill, they're worried that even though there was boilerplate in that speech last night as michelle said, it was pretty aggressive cy war going on in that speech about north korea. they had the defector up in the gallery who obviously raised his crutches. they had the parents of otto warmbier who obviously had died shortly after having been
maltreated in a north korean prison. and the president called north korea depraved and talked about rebuilding the nuclear arsenal, et cetera. there was a lot of war drup being pounded last night in that speech. and it's clear that h.r. mcmaster and others inside the white house while they aren't for bloody nosing anybody in the next few days, they really haven't dismissed that possibility at all and they know that to stay in the good graces of donald trump, they have to not dismiss it. they have not to go down the road that victor cha just went down. >> in his speech last night, trump pointed to several invited guests in the audience. there was the family of otto warmbier, the american student imprisoned by north korea who obviously died shortly after returning to america in a coma. trump highlighted the story of a north korean defector tore durred by the regime and later fled south. the point according to trump was to showcase the depraved
character of the north korean regime. listen. >> otto's wonderful parents fred and cindy warmbier, are here with us tonight along with otto's brother and sister. you're powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world. tonight we pledge to honor otto's memory with total american resolve. in 1996, seongho was a starving boy. later he was tortured by north korean authors after returning from a brief visit to china. today he lives in seoul where he rescues other defectors and broadcasts into north korea what the regime fears most, the truth. >> michelle and howard, what is the justification or the
motivation for our president to get to us hate north korea more than we already do? most of us laugh at it. we think it's a fool slish country. we know it's cruel. why does he want to raise the temperature of hatred by the american population? >> i mean, the north korea regime certainly is cruel and depraved. this sort of thing parading the cruelty and torture inflicted by the regime it's something similar to what you saw both before the first gulf war and before the invasion of iraq to kind of get people to feel emotionally invested in not just -- not negotiating with this regime, not checking this regime but overthrowing this regime. and the north korean defector that he had in the audience has argued that he's a christian convert and has argued that it is the duty of christian converts or that it is the duty of christians to try to overthrow this wicked regime. and so it seemed to me like what trump was doing was trying to
rile up his base for a holy war. >> yeah, it's what he did. that's what george bush i did to try to get us to hate saddam hussein in terms of what they did to babies in hospitals. you know those stories probably true to get to us support desert storm. >> it has those echoes. i would say also it's similar to those past events in that it's aimed at the region and america's stance in the region. i think the message is also going out from the state of the union last night to the south korea. don't -- we know south korea that you've got the olympic games. we know you're at least temporarily looking like you want to sit down and talk with the north koreans. don't do it. stay away from north korea. i think that was part of the message that the president was sending. and yet another thing that victor cha who obviously decided not to become ambassador was going to work on, i think he was going to be much more on the
page of let's see what we can work out between north and south korea. trump wants to the try to isolate the north and scare the north if he can and beat the drums as did he last night. >> well said. thank you so much. there's always howard fineman and michelle goldberg for your reporting here. another loyalty test for president trump. according to a new report, trump asked the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein if he's on the team or not. it all fits into a disturbing pattern because trump asked everybody out to prosecute him, are you on my side. this is "hardball" where the action is.
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welcome back to "hardball." there's yet another report now of president trump depending loyalty from those around him. according to cnn, trump recently asked his deputy attorney general rod rosenstein if he was on my team or not. it's all part of a pattern with this president. and congressional testimony last june, former fbi director james comey said trump asked him for loyalty during a one-on-one meeting. >> the dinner was an effort to build a relationship, in fact, he asked specifically of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay. i remember thinking this is a very disturbing development because it was very, very awkward. he was asking for something and i was refusing to give it. >> last week, "the washington post" reported that trump
summoned deputy fbi director andrew mccabe to the oval office and asked how he vote the in the 2016 election. and earlier this month, "the new york times" reported that after attorney general sessions recused himself from the russia probe "the president erupted in anger in front of numerous white house officials saying he needed his attorney general to protect him. mr. trump then asked where is my roy cohn. let's bring in the "hardball" roundtable, mat slap, maria teresa kumar, and of course, eugene scott is political reporter for "the washington post." i want to hear all of you. what's your reaction to what i just said? matt? >> this it's important to know attorney general, deputy attorney general and all the political appointments at the department of justice report to the president. they work for the executive branch. there's not a fourth branch of government. there are three branchs.
presidents do this all the time. bobby kennedy was loilts to john f. kennedy. presidents picked people they're closely associated with because it gets into the sensitive areas. >> what about the fbi, the director and deputy director, should they be loyal to the president or head of the national police investigation? should they be in charge of their job or loyal to him? >> take an oath to the constitution. >> they have to investigate him in certain circumstances. should they be loyal to him or their job as investigators? >> everybody who obviously works for the president takes an oath to the constitution. that's the number one responsibility. if you're going to work for a president though, it's perfectly appropriate in the personnel process and the interview process for those types of questions to be asked. i guarantee you that every president or the people who obviously work for those presidents asks some version of this question, everyone. >> chris, i think the biggest difference here. >> maria, i think times have changed. >> i think the biggest difference -- it has not. the president keeps trying to basically change the line and
try to identify what is right and what is wrong. we keep pushing that line along with us. let's be clear. comey when he was asked those questions was not asking whether or not he wanted the job. he had the job. the fact that he went after mccabe and rosenstein for these loyalties, their job as fbi is to be loyal to the office of the president. not the individual. and for hip to ask those questions, that is why people are concerned because it does look like it was during the investigation of whether or not there was interference by russia. and it was during this thing, during this investigation that's ongoing that he asked these questions to insure if they were on his side, then they were basically going to be allowed to look the other way. is there obstruction of justice. it shows he's not done it once but three times. there's a pattern and people should be concerned. that is probably one of the reasons mueller keeps bringing people in. >> let me go to gene. we have a lot of evidence on this president going to people the head of the fbi and deputies of the fbi and not only asking for their voting records or are they with hip sort of
psychologically but asking them are you going to let michael flynn off or not. he's not just asking generally if they're loyal. he wants them loyal in particular to his case it seems. your thoughts, gene. >> >> this is a problem that many voters have noted. nearly 50% of american people according to a "washington post"/abc poll believe that trump perhaps directly tried to obstruct justice regarding this investigation. it's in part because of questions like this. so whether or not people on the trump train or his surrogates or people in the white house think he is susceptible. many american people are concerned. that's something to be mindful of headed into midterms and you're trying to get people to stay with us as you go into the next political psych. >> what do you make, matt, of the president's right as you see it under the constitution as the chief executive to ask for help from these prosecutors in this case? ask them to go ease on someone like michael flynn or the president himself, give me a
break here, buddy. would that be okay under your theory of loyalty? >> there's no question. >> honestly, should the president be allowed to say to somebody who obviously is supposed to be a prosecutor and enforce the law give me a break here. i picked you? is that okay as you see it. >> well, if the president, i think the key here is that the president has not been under investigation. that's what the fbi controversy was all about is there was constant reporting about the fbi was investigating donald trump and he was getting increasingly concerned that nobody was clarifying the record. it's a reasonable thing for a president to talk to one of his political appointees even somebody at doj. fbi reports through the structure at doj and say if i'm not under investigation, please clarify it. >> does he have a right to say go easy on me, buddy? >> he has a right to say you should follow the law. i did. >> you're not answering my question. >> none of us know what the words were. >> did you vote for me?
>> i'm okay with that. >> let me speaking to that specifically. when a republican is elected as president, it's appropriate for them to check to see what the politics are of the people who obviously work for him. president trump has lots of democrats work are for him including members of his family in the white house. the president has every right to know what the political affiliation is of a political appointee. that is a canard. >> during an investigation? >> look, chris, when they are getting picked, right, by the way, the president wasn't being investigated. keep saying this. he's not being investigated. >> i think the challenge with the president is that he's constantly showing he has a sense of paranoia. the only people that he wants close to him are folks that are able to show utmost loyalty. his company trump administration had less than 20 employees. why? because they want to make sure they're strong and loyal to him. that is a problem. he's not running a family business. he's running the united states of america. >> i think the fact that he says
he wants roy cohn work for ip him at the justice department tells you all you need to know about whether he wants justice or not. we'll be right back. whether he wants justice or not. we'll be right back. all you nee whether he wants justice or not. we'll be right back. you all you whether he wants justice or not. we'll be right back. i asked my doctor. she told me about non-insulin victoza®. victoza® is not only proven to lower a1c and blood sugar, but for people with type 2 diabetes treating their cardiovascular disease, victoza® is also approved to lower the risk of major cv events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. while not for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. (announcer) victoza® is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. stop taking victoza® and get medical help right away if you get a lump or swelling in your neck or symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash,
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and i couldn't ask for a better partner. we're back with the round table. time for one headline. gene, tell me something i don't know. >> and pro immigration group headed by former new york city mayor mike bloomberg is targeting senators in 14 states trying to get them on board to pass something in favor of daca. >> okay. thank you so much. matt slap, maria and eugene scott. back after this. you're watching "hardball." in the modern world, it pays to switch things up. you can switch and save time. [cars honking] [car accelerating] you can switch and save worry. ♪ you can switch and save hassle. [vacuuming sound] and when you switch to esurance, you can save time, worry, hassle and yup, money. in fact, drivers who switched from geico to esurance saved hundreds. so you might want to think about pulling the ol' switcheroo. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world.
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all we have to do is listen. download audible to start listening. house oversight committee trey gowdy announced today he plans to leave congress at the end of this term. in his statement, the south carolina republican said i will not be filing for re-election to congress nor seeking any other political or elected office. instead, i will be returning to the justice system. whatever skills i may have are better utilized in a courtroom than congress and i enjoy our justice system rather than our political system. it's unclear what role he hopes to take on but as of yesterday, there is a new vacancy on the fourth circuit court of appeals which happens to cover south carolina. according to nbc's count, congressman gowdy is the 21st house republican to announce his retirement ahead of the midterms. we also learned today that long-time democratic congressman bob brady of philadelphia will
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump painted a rosy picture of the economy last night in his state of the union. let's watch. >> since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. after years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages. unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small business. these changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000. this in fact is our new american moment. there has never been a better time to start living the
american dream. >> as nbc's fact checking team points out, his job numbers are technically correct but trump is overstating wage growth and taking credit for jobs added under his predecessor, president obama. afl-cio president richard trumka who obviously attended the state of the union said president trump painted everything being great in america while optimistic is not the reality for most working families. that may be how his friends are living but the working men and women we represent aren't seeing the same america and his policies are making it worse. the truth is, many of the things he says are undermined by the actual policies he supports. i'm joined by richard trumka, head of the afl-cio. let me ask you, mr. trumka, is it true that manufacturing is moving back into the united states from across the border in mexico? that was the picture the president gave us last night. >> actually, 93,000 jobs were
outsourced last year out of the country. the most that we've seen in recent years. so while we're creating some manufacturing jobs, we're seeing outsourced jobs and his tax plan is going to encourage even more outsourcing by making it tax-free for employers to create subsidiaries overseas. so we're going to see more of it, not less of it. that's unfortunate. in addition to that, chris, one of his big -- one of his big applause lines was that he did away with more regulations than any other president. unfortunately, a lot of those regulations that he did away with protected our health and safety. unfortunately, a lot of those regulations that he did away with lowered our wages, took overtime away from 5 million people so it would lower our wages. what i didn't hear last night that i really wanted to hear was what he was going to do to raise our wages to give us more health
care, to give americans more pensions anton make this a more stable economy. i didn't hear that last night. >> is he making it more dangerous to work in america? >> there's no question. we lose 150 workers every single day in this country to occupational injuries and disease. so what does he do? he proposes a budget that slashes the safety research budgeting that does away with safety and health training for workers that doesn't require employers to record injuries anymore. a number of those things, delays, standards that protect our health and safety like silica standards or mine safety inspections, he delayed all of those and did away with all of them and as a result, more work remembers going to die on the job, not go home and be able to realize their family. >> let's talk about rebuilding america. i mean, we all know the situation of our sub ways and our bridges and everything let
alone modern state-of-the-art transportation methods like they have in every other country in the world, china, japan, europe, it's everywhere. the money he spent, the $1.5 trillion on the tax cut, the money he's talking about spending on the wall along the rio grande river i guess, what's left? do you hear anything in last night's speech about rebuilding america with big-time money? >> we didn't hearny kind of plan that was viable or would work. look, the society of civil engineers say that we need over $3 trillion to repair our old infrastructure and create new infrastructure to make us a competitive economy out into the next century. he proposed $20 billion a year for ten years. that's what his proposal actually is. listen to this. he proposed $25 million to build the wall that you talked about
on the rio grande river. and only 20 million to take care of -- to billion to of all the roads, bridges, waterways, electrical grid and all the other infrastructure in this country. if you net out his budget all the cuts he took to infrastructure and his budget, the figure for infrastructure is a net figure and instead of going forward, we'll go backwards, chris and spend less money on rebuilding our infrastructure so we'll become less competitive in the world. >> he said he was going to rebuild america. do you think elied? do you think he meant to do that or i mean did he come into office to cut the taxes of the rich and build the wall or come into office to rebuild america? which of the three was he putting his focus on? >> we found many, many instances where the campaign promises he made do not match with the policies he's espousing and in fact, the policies he's
espousing go in the opposite direction. you remember he said he was going to make china a currency manipulator on day one. >> yeah. >> we haven't heard anything about that recently. since he got into office. last night, he didn't mention anything about what he was going to do with nafta or trade. that was missing from the speech. he talked a little bit about trade in the broad sense but nothing about how he's going to fix it. how he's going to make it better and how he's going to make trade work for working americans. all of that was missing from the speech last night, sadly. >> well, it was great to have you on tonight. you've got a powerful message to get out. richard trumka, head of the labor unions of america. let me finish tonight with trump watch. you're watching "hardball."
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trump watch january 31st, 2018. if you step back from the actions of president trump and hissage adjutants you can see what they're up to. one by one picking off officials charged with insuring that they obey the law. i say step by step because the only an apparent difference between how this president and richard nixon conduct this kind of purge is the pacing. nixon knocked off the attorney general, the deputy attorney general and the special counsel
all in one night. trump is doing so overtime first the fbi director, then the deputy fbi director on monday, and now the deputy attorney general is being targeted with the special prosecutor being the ultimate bull's eye. nixon performed his saturday night massacre, trump is performing a slow motion saturday night massacre. this president loves to first give his marked men a death warrant and shows no need for logical causality between the accused and the crime and just as trump accused obama of being an illegal alien without evidence he now makes charges against those involved in the current investigation against him. all that's necessary to sell trump's proud supporters is a claim itself. james comey, deputy fbi director andrew mccabe and now rod rosenstein are all being tarred and feathered in the same summary judgment. trump and his people simply declare their guilt of whatever and proceed to scream conspiracy. it's the old nixon technique,
blame the prosecution and try like hell to avoid being convicted hoping sooner or later you'll find enough stooges to save you. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on all-in." >> we could use some more loyalty, i will tell that you. >> another day, another loyalty test. >> an oath to the president of the united states rather than the constitution would be inappropriate. >> reports that the president asked the man in charge of the mueller probe for his loyalty. plus. >> the president needs to know these intelligence reports are out there. >> the fbi's extraordinary plea to stop the president from releasing the nunes memo. >> don't worry. 100%. >> congressman luis gutierrez responds to the state of the union and the incredible reason that the head of the cdc just resigned when all in starts right now.