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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 2, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

4:00 pm beat/ari. bring in the moon and sun together always makes me happy. what a week. the news does not stop though. this is a night to keep it locked on msnbc, fair to say. i'm looking forward to "hardball" with chris matthews which starts now. >> hit job. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. to undermine and possibly subvert the zrafgs justice in this country, president trump today declassified the much hyped memo he believes will ultimately save him from the special counsel's russia probe. in doing so, the president ignored the warnings from the justice department which said its release is extremely reckless and the fbi which expressed grave concerns about his accuracy. as we already know, the memo is said to be the product of a
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cherry picked intelligence drafted by staffers to congressman devin nunes of the house intelligence committee. at the heart of it is the allegation that warranty was wrongfully obtained by the fbi and the justice department to surveil former trump adviser carter page. there he is, under the foreign intelligence surveillance act or fisa. the authors of the memo claim that the dossier which was compiled by former british intelligence officer christopher steele "formed an essential part of the carter page fisa application that was used to obtain the warrant." they say the fbi and justice department should have told the federal judges who obviously approved and renewed that warrant that the dossier was funded by the clinton campaign and dnc originally. however, the memo does not mention other evidence that may have also been used to justify the warrant and never claims the intelligence to the court was falsified or untrue. instead it looks like a trumped up smear of the law enforcement officials in the president's hit
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list. former fbi director james comey, he fired him, former deputy fbi director andrew mccabe, he pushed him out. former deputy attorney general sally yates got push out and the current deputy attorney general rod rosen tine who obviously is in the president's crosshairs and the president makes it clear. with reports indicating the president could use this memo as a pretext to fire rosenstein, the only person who obviously has the authority over the special counsel's probe, democrats say it could spark a constitutional crisis. drawing out the suspense this morning, the president weighed in on the memo's allegations from the oval office, most notable however, was what he said about the fate of rod rosenstein. here he goes. >> i think it's terrible. you want to know the truth? i think it's a disgrace what's going on in this country. i think it's a disgrace. the memo was sent to congress who obviously was declassified. congress will do whatever they're going to do. i think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country. when you look at that and you
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see that and so many other things what's going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that. >> does it make you want to fire rod rosenstein? >> you figure that one out. >> tonight nbc news is reporting ranking democrat, the ranking democrat on the house intel committee adam schiff of california said devin announce should step down saying in the interest of the committee, we would be far better off with a different chair. i'm joined by democratic congressman jim himes who obviously sits on the committee, as well, chuck rosenburg, former senior fbi official and contributor and betsy woodruff covers the russia probe for "the daily beast." let me going to congressman himes. should announce step down be recused technically? shouldn't he get out of the way after this performance today? >> you know, that would certainly help rebuild the committee which for so long was
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nonpartisan, so long focused on our national security and which sadly because of the chairman's antics has become a platform for the defense of this president and for the creation of pretext for the -- the possible firing of rod rosenstein. so yes. you know, if we really want this committee to move forward in doing its important work of oversight and getting over this fracture caused by the chairman, i think it would be in the best interests for him to step aside for a different chairman. >> mr. himes, you're a politician. you have a little nose. you know what's going on around you, have instinct for it. do you think the chairman announce works for the congress, works for his constituents at home or works for trump? who obviously is he working for? >> chris, if i answer that question in my own voice, your audience will say that's just a democrat talking. let's look at what what john mccain said about this whole madcap exercise. he says it bes no purpose other than vladimir putin's.
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he said it's time to move beyond these clearly partisan political things, something that can by the way was echoed today on npr by former chairman of the house intelligence committee mike rogers who obviously has deep reservations and problems with this. don't take it from this democrat. take it from republicans not on the team as the president so aptly put it to support his every whim. >> is announce and his staff, are they working for trump? >> announce since the day after the open hearing in which jim comey announced the existence of the fbi investigation into russia hacks and possible collusion, the very next day we got the start of the midnight run to the white house where devin announce got information from the white house. they then saw the unmasking baloney. susan was unmasked. turns out to be baloney. the problem with chapter 3, it's not just about the obama administration or susan rice and sam powers.
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this is about the federal bureau of investigation and the department of justice. storied american institutions that now have been to anybody hob read this memo unfairly tarred with the thinnest of cases that whatever collapsed does not continue today will be done when the democratic memo is released hopefully next week. >> betsy, you've been all over this story. you do see patterns with this guy announce. it seems like he's doing something that the trumpsters down at the white house and eob want done. he does it, launders it for them and then says didn't i do a good job. the president says good work, i support you. >> it's a it's a recuriously predictable pattern. one thing i was told when i was speaking with an official yesterday and working on a story i put together about announce, when he first became chairman of the intel committee in 2014, there were concerns immediately. he was seen as someone who obviously wasn't much of a heavyweight when it came to intelligence matters. he hinted at that on fox news
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when he said he didn't read the intelligence that his memo is based on. what this person told me was because there was this perception of announce, folks thought he's probably going to be governed and driven by his staff. it will be a bottom up way this committee gets led. that's not the way people want to see is the intel committee work. >> i see his staff working for the white house. while some republicans like speaker ryan pretend that the release of this memo is not related to the criminal investigation of the president, it's abundantly clear it is. it's all about trying to discredit the mueller investigation. as "the washington post" reports, the president has already indicated he might use it this memo to fire the only man within authority over the russia probe, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. "trump suggested to aides in con if i dance that the memo might give him the justification to fire rosenstein, something about which trump has privately mused or make other changes at the justice department which he complained was not sufficiently loyal to him. it didn't have a roy cohn
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running it for him." chairman nunes insisted his memo had nothing to do with the mueller probe and says there's been no obstruction or collusion on behalf of the president. >> well, i think what's happening is i think the mainstream media and the democrats are tying this to the mueller investigation because they're trying to perpetuate this nonsense of obstruction of justice because they've left the russia collusion issue. they know there was no collusion. >> chuck, it seems to me that it walks like a duck, it's a duck. it's clearly this memo hyped up for two weeks. i've never heard a memorandum gotten this kind of play with the idea this be a dagger the president can stab rosenstein with or anybody else who obviously wants to knock out his investigation. is this about -- is this about going after the mueller probe? >> it seems to be, chris. legally this is a pile of nothing. there's nothing in this memo that is of lee consequence. it looks like it was written by an underachieving first year law
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student. that said, right it, politically, they can use it as they will. i'm in a political guy. i'm a legal guy. i can tell you that it has no legal consequences. >> let's go to the reality. i go back to mr. himes on this. i'll start with you, mr. himes. it seems to me if there is a russian involvement in our 2016 election which is pretty much manifestly true and was true last year, that there needed to be an investigation by our fbi because they go into a counter intelligence. they're trying to find anybody trying to do something like this. they're our only wep to people who obviously try to subvert our country. if they hadn't gone after carter page, he's all over the place, almost cartoonishly bragging about his role in the russian interplay between trump and the russians, they would have been not doing their duty. is that your view, mr. himes? you had to look what he was up to if you were looking into what trump was up to and the russians i should say are up to. >> of course, chris.
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there's a fact even more important than that which is -- by the way, this is taken right out of the announce memo. the memo points out that the investigation into the russian hack of our election was well under way months before the fisa application made against mr. page. so this idea that because -- and by the way, i don't think there's a thing to it, but this idea there was anything improper about the fisa application against carter page that that somehow sullys the investigation, the memo itself says that the investigation had been under way for months before the intent to listen in on mr. carter page was even considered. >> yeah, let me go to our expert here, betsy. it's really -- i guess i worked in washington for so long, i watched things at different levels. i don't think everything that the big shots make all the decisions. staff people play big roles. who obviously decided the way to bring down the russian probe to destroy mueller and rosenstein, everybody, was to go after the
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fisa application on carter page? who obviously decided that was the peg they could break this thing on? >> to be clear, i can't speak to the motives of the folks. what i can tell you, is that one person who obviously played a key role in this memo from the idea of putting it together looking at the intelligence, crafting the memo and perhaps most importantly pushing for the memo to be dispersed is a staffer named kash patel only working for announce on the committee since maybe april. >> where does he come from. >> before that, he worked in the national security division in the justice department. >> with the trump people. >> no, this is the obama administration. he was a trial attorney there. at one point testifies famously dressed down by a federal judge who obviously called him useless from the bench. since then he tried to get a role on the national security council after trump was elected. that ended up not panning out. within a few months he was working for nunes on house intel. >> it looks like he was the first year law student and wrote this draft in your reporting. > correct, that's what i
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reported. "the new york times" hinted at that, as well that patel is the key mover as far as putting together the memo itself. >> in a tweet this morning, president trump used the memo we keep talking about to accuse law enforcement officials of bias. "the top leadership and investigators of the fbi and the justice department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of democrats and against republicans, something which would have been unthinkable a short time ago." rank and file are great people. once the memo was released former fbi director james comey offered his own reaction saying on twitter, that's it? the dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the house intel committee, destroyed trust within the intelligence community, damaged the relationship with the fisa court and exposed classified investigation of an american citizen for what? doj and fbi must keep doing their jobs. let me get back to you, chuck. who obviously are the people who obviously do fisa applications? >> i'm so glad you asked me that.
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they're the rank and file. the exact people that the president lauded and maybe he doesn't understand who obviously he's praising are the rank and file, the folks who obviously assemble the information, vet the sources, job great them and compile this information into after thes av dave vits. at some point political appointees certify it. the rank and file are the heart and soul of these affidavits. it's the rank and file who obviously take it to court and appear before the judge. it's the rank and file. >> now the president's trying to say they're great people. at the same time i'm going to trash their work. late this afternoon, fbi director christopher wray sent a vid know message to employees saying you've all been through a lot. it's often been unset lick to say the least. the past few days haven't done much to calm those waters. i stand fully committed to our
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mission, i stand by our shared determination to do the work independently and by the book. talk is cheap. the work you do is what will endure. i want you to ended this conversation, as a member of the intelligence committee, you understand the role the fbi plays in our lives and it is in fact our chief bulwark against anyone trying to hurt this country to subversion, whatever monkeying with our elections or whatever. how do you look at them? >> well, i guess there's two tradition here, chris. one is that some small percentage of the country that will believe the allegations in this memo that will believe the larger narrative that is in no way supported by this memo that there is in fact bias at the highest levels of the fbi. a significant chunk of the american population will lose faithing in an institution that is comprised of people who obviously put their lives on the line every single day who obviously could be making a lot more money at various law firms and this and that and the second
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tragedy is that these are good people who obviously are hearing the commander in chief, the president of the united states, berate and demean the mission that they do and the institution that they work for. that is something that is going to take a significant amount of time for this republic to recover from and that this president would do that and that devin announce, the chairman of the intel committee, would be come police nit that effort is profoundly disturbing. > he's doing it to save his butt. thank you jim himes. thank you, chuck rosenburg. great have having you on. betsy, what happened to the party of law and order? remember them? why are so many republicans abandoning their principles to follow trump into battle with the country's top law enforcement snishls plus, if history is a guide, presidents who obviously subvert the truth and go to war with the fbi and the intelligence community of this country don't win. trump has started that war releasing a memo his own fbi director says it false and tonight we're going to see why it's a war he will lose. and the "hardball" roundtable
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tonight on trump's motives in all of this. sounds like he wants to fire rod rosenstein as a way to put mueller's whole investigation in jeopardy. that should set off alarm bells everywhere. what is it about this investigation that donald trump is so damned scared of. let me finish with what's happening this sunday in minnesota. you know where i stand. this is "hardball" where the action is. my wife were actually saving for a house. but one day we were sitting there and we decided that, you know what? something needed to be done about what was going on in our inner-city. instead of buying a house, we decided to form this youth league. what is he doing wrong? he should shed the block. exactly. it's volunteer, we don't get a paycheck. it's one hundred percent from the heart. football shaped my life and i'm praying that it will shape these kids' lives as well. ♪ ♪ on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your ideal comfort, your sleep number setting.
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and snoring? does your bed do that? right now during the ultimate sleep number event, save 50% on the ultimate limited edition bed with adjustable comfort on both sides. ends soon. visit for a store near you. well, we're getting a clearer picture now why president trump and his lackeys are desperate to undermine the justice department. and special counsel robert mueller, of course. according to politico, mueller's russian investigation has gathered enough steam some lawyers representing key donald trump associates with considering the possibility of a historic first, an indictment against a sitting president. politico spoke with at least two attorneys representing clients who obviously have been swept up in the russia probe and both say they believe that mueller could indict the president for obstruction of justice. that the prediction is partially
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based on interactions with the special counsel's team whose interviews have recently examined whether trump tried to derail the probe into his campaign's russia ties. wow. we'll be right back. [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. of esurance. an allstate company. so you can be confident you're getting the perfect hotel at the best price. soak it in. kayak. search one and done. we're pretty sure no one's everg asked howsaid microwaved. eggs,
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still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. welcome back to "hardball." the republican party was once known as the party of law and order and this week, we've watched many of its members line up to attack the country's law and order institutions, the fbi, and the justice department. here they go. >> until all of america tonight that i am shocked to read exactly has taken place. i would think that it would never happen in a country that loves freedom and democracy like this country. >> what i read today in that classified briefing room is as bad as i thought it was. >> it's going to be showing misconduct on the part of top people at the doj and the fbi. you're going to see a need for a change to certain practices up
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there. >> you are describing the very elements of a palace coup. >> if hillary's bought and paid for dossier was the foundation to doing this, wow. >> sean, this is bigger than anything anybody can imagine. >> you say that. it makes watergate like stealing a snickers bar. >> well, one republican congressman everyone arizona, paul gosar accused the fbi of treason and called on jeff sessions, the ag to criminally prosecute "these traitors." those were his words. on the other side, mike rogers who obviously questioned the motives behind the release of the announce memo today. >> not exactly sure why they would pick this can route. there are other ways that you can make your point if you're worried about this. and again, my point here is if you're really worried that there was some bad behavior or matter of fact, maybe even criminal behavior in the application of that fisa warrant, there are other ways to do it.
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and a at least by all appearances a partisan investigation and release of selective information is not the way to do it. >> senator john mccain also delivered a harsh assessment of the memo today and those who obviously support it. he wrote "our nation's elected officials including the president must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. if we continue to undermine our rule of law, we are doing putin's job for him." i'm joined by charlie sykes, and sean steele, republican national committee man from california. charlie, i'm amazed for years we heard the buildup about paul ryan. he's an anne rand ideologue, he believes in individual liberty. he has principles. and yet, he operates so much like a partisan character. defending trump no matter what trump does and attacking all of trump's targets for him. >> this is very disappointing
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particularly given the distance that he had between himself and trump back in 2016. this is a dramatic escalation here. the only theory that i can come up with is that enjoyed passing that tax cut bill so much he wants to stay in trump's favor. on the other hand, also, he probably didn't want to be in the crosshairs of his own members, the crackpotry you saw with that whole release the memo. he had been the voice of reason and said we're not going to be cherry picking this or become willing accomplices to the obstruction of justice, he would have been the focus of all of this conservative media attack and probably he figured i just don't need that. but we have seen this congressional party go from resistance to enabling to acquiescence to now going full trump on this. and it is not inevitable. it's a coequal branch of government, a party supportive of law enforcement and now they're not only now complicity in trying to discredit this
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investigation but they're doing real damage, long-term institutional damage to some of these crucial law enforcement and intelligence agencies. and that would have been unthinkable as a republican, it would have been unthinkable a few years ago. >> mr. steel, some of the knowledge is shared. most of us believe that the russians tried to mess with our elections that they wanted to try ruining the reputation of hillary clinton if they coulden an beat her. they didn't think they could beat her but hurt her a little bit. with some of these characters, i don't think they're serious people but carter page out there is a bit goofy. and paul manafort doesn't exactly seem on the level. and the trump kids and the in-laws all of them messing with the russians. i've never seen so many russian contacts in my life. even sessions who obviously seems like a good old boy from the south, what's he hanging around with kislyak for? these guys are hanging around them. it reminds me of what was his name, the cold median talked about oj, in the blood, around
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the blood. why is there so much russia contact and wouldn't you want to know what's going on here? why don't you want to support the effort of mueller who obviously everybody respects to get to the bottom of it? what's wrong with him doing his job? >> you're raising a lot of great questions. i don't like the russian bureaucracy. i'm an old anti-soviet. never liked or trusted putin. i don't understand why there was such opposition to releasing a four-page memorandum. what were they worried about? what was the great zmern i'm. transparency. the democrats will have a memo, i want it out today. i want the transcript. i want more information. >> when is the last time you gave thought or word to the word memo? this is the most concocted buildup bs thing in the world. mccarthy was a genius at this. he would say i have a document in my hand. i have a document. it was this-year-old thing about a document. there was no memo. a bunch of staff guys working
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for this guy knocked out a thing, probably over beers and pizza. it's become scripture. then the president acts like. >> they've got to read it. that's the whole point. everybody here on the panel -- >> what did you learn? >> here's what i learned. i'm a slightly paranoid libertarian. i don't trust big government. big government attached to big technology is a fearsome thing. i never liked the patriot act. i know better now why. they can spy on anybody in this room in any neighborhood at any time on the filmiest of reasons. >> give me a flimsy reason. you're advertising yourself as the russian contact for all the oligarchs. you go to the trump campaign and say i can get you to the door with all these people. isn't that guy worth watching what the russians are doing with him? >> but the underlying reason using the steele dossier was incompetent and poor work. >> we don't know that. >> we need to find out. >> this is why this is such a bizarre charaded that no one's covering up unless you release
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the democratic document. >> yes, and the testimony. >> let me get to you, sir. i'm going to get to to you, mr. steel. the other steel. >> i'm not related. >> i know. it's unfair. did you ever watch those north koreans goose stepping in line the same smile on their faces, everything is de rigeur. your republican party is so much like that. your numbers are so totally with trump. nobody liked him when he ran. they all fought him all the bushes and rubios. everybody's against him. now they march along whatever trump wants, they go yes, sir, yes, sir. what's that about? >> this really wasn't even about trump. >> why are you guys all for trump. >> for me, i was supporting six republicans before i finally got to trump. >> stuck with the guy. >> on the other hand, he's had great action. don't like the rhetoric a lot but i love the action, love the tax cuts. >> what is it, denny's the restaurant you go to where you end up at denny'ses?
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that's trump. you didn't want him. >> it was inevitable. >> the american people did and didn't want hillary. >> you're not going to fire the top prosecutors? >> no. >> you don't believe he's not going to fire rosenstein. >> there's only seven people involved. it's not justice department. >> who is going to fire him. >> rosenstein has to make up his own mind. there's only seven people involved in this whole problem. and they're the ones, all of them have been. >> charlie, your words. what do you think is going to happen. >> look, the whole charade, the whole point of this memo was to discredit this investigation to, obstruct this investigation to, create a predicate for possibly neutering this investigation by getting rid of rosenstein. everyone knows all of that. all of the stuff about transparency is so much eye wash. there's all this misinformation because you don't get a fisa warrant with just a four-page memo. you have 50, 60 pages, fisa judges are mostly republican. they've gone through it. think about all the folks in the department of justice house have
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done this. the point of this was to throw up lots of dust and smoke and perhaps it has succeeded. i guess the real question, i get it that republicans go along with the conservative policies but why do they feel they have to become accomplices on the russia investigation particularly when we will know the russians are attacking our democracy and that's the part i can't get past. >> that is so wildly. >> one last word to you. why did trump bring on board a campaign a guy watched by the fbi who obviously has been suspected a long time for years of involvement with the russian oligarchs and those people who obviously they thought was being used by the russians. why would trump bring that as flaky as this guy carter page, look at the guy. he's flaky. why did he bring him into the campaign. >> every presidential campaign has hangers on, people that give them selves title that show up at a meeting and say they're a integral part. everybody knows he was a nothing then and a nothing now.
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>> he named him as one of your top people. you're hanging your whole presidency on this guy. look at this performance here. i'm sorry. >> why in the world do we want to have spying on a presidential opponent? here's my worry about you. in 2020, trump's going to have a different department of justice, a different fbi inevitably. there's going to be a hot presidential campaign. which democrat is going to be is your failed by the fbi at that time. i would oppose it then. i hope you would. why are you not opposing it now? >> it wasn't a candidate surveilled. it was a russian operative over there who obviously lived in russia for three years who obviously operated as the guy to go see in russia into it would have been dare liksz ever duere >> you're giving the trump administration permission to spy on democrats. >> sean, they're spying on russians. >> let's hope they're not spying on more americans.
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>> a good man sean steel from california. not doing too well out there, your party. president trump today made it official. he's going to war with the fbi. but if history is any indication he'll come out on the losing end. you don't mez with the fbi. you can't fire it your way out of a criminal investigation. he tried. this the slow motion speeding up saturday night massacre. this is "hardball" where the action is.
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welcome back to "hardball." with the release of today's memo fbi director christopher wray now stands at odds with the president who obviously appointed him. trump is now claiming that the leadership in the fbi and the doj, department of justice, are biased against him. he said that today. well, in an op-ed piece in the "new york times," pulitzer prize winning reporter tim weimer calls that memo a cudgel created to attack everyone who obviously has been in charge of the federal investigation of team trump. he says the president may try to fire them all but he won't win the war despite the degradations that this president has inflicted on executive branch, there remains a fay lax of honorable people at the justice department and the fbi more beholding to principle than politics. prepared to fall on their swords rather than sub born high crimes. i'm joined by tim weiner who obviously wrote that piece and also the author of "enemies a history of the fbi." also with us, democratic u.s.
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congressman gregory mix. thank you. i usually start with the elected official but i got to start with the author of this. what is it about the fbi and its culture, the way people make men and women devote their 30 or 40-year career to it with a limited income, not a terrible income but limited, and say this is what i'm going to do with my life? what is that? >> they're sworn top defend the rule of law and the constitution. they are quoted to law and they are not devoted to loyalty to any elected politician. they're going to follow the evidence in this case until the end of time or until the end of trump. >> wow. congressman, what do you make about there fight? i know if you're a progressive democrat, you might have a different view of j. edgar hoover's role through all those years. it may be mixed. what's your view of the fbi in this time with the president? >> well, you can just follow the facts. you know, president trump from the very beginning when he
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started with commie, he thought that he was going to be on his side when he saw that he was not, he fired him. he then thought his attorney general would be on his side, his attorney general decided to make sure that he stepped down. so then there was an appointment that the president put nut of mr. rosenstein and he thought that he would be on his side with loyalty but again as indicated these individuals started following their duty and responsibility. so mr. rosenstein then hired mr. mueller who obviously is going to continue this investigation. this is not -- this is the trump justice department and trump head of the fbi. but they too have steadfast with what their responsibilities are and they will follow this to the end. and sometimes as was was nixon, the cover-up is -- can be worse than the crime. no one is talking about the threat to our democracy that the russians put in with an election and another election is coming
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up in in 2018. it just seems clear from the facts that this president is nervous about this investigation and unfortunatefortunately unli fortunately my colleagues on the republican side are trying to help this president cover up this investigation. my head is baffled. why in the world they would do that. >> tim, i watched the mark felt movie. one thing i learned from, it wasn't one of the great movies in history. one thing i liked about about it was the integrity of the fbi. when john dean shows up with the acting head of the fbi, the organization mark felt and all the true believers said what the hell are you doing here. that sense of tissue rejection. don't mess with this purpose of our mission. tell me about that today and how that affects christopher wray who obviously has just been picked by trump. he from the day he's selected, he has to basically take on the
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person who obviously appoints him. >> chris, the fbi is the only institution in this country that it can investigate the president of the united states. trump got up in the dead of night today and at 3:33 in the morning fired off a tweet that was a direct attack on the fbi and on the justice department. he can use this memo as a weapon to try and decapitate the fbi and doj to get rid of chris wray at the fbi. to get rid of rosenstein as a way of trying to put in a stooge in rosenstein's place who obviously could fire robert mueller. he can try that. but he will fail in the end. and he will create a constitutional crisis unlike any we've seen since the saturday day/night massacre. the saturday night massacre could recur tomorrow if trump takes us one more tweet toward a
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constitutional crisis. >> congressman meeks, look at the pattern of what i call the slow motion saturday night massacre. he gets rid of comey, got rid of mccabe. he got rid of yates. he's just going down the list. now he's going after this guy rosenstein who is a apparently a lifelong republican because he's in his way. i think he is. we all know he's heading for mueller firing anybody that dares to challenge him in terms of enforcing the law. >> which is why my colleagues on the republican side of the aisle from the leadership on down and olympian announce, the track they're going down is baffling. they have a responsibility. our first responsibilities as a separate branch of government is to make sure that we protect and preserve our institutions. and for them to become co-conspirators with this president to begin or to try to discredit and turn and tear down this institution where we've been following, you know, what
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the hypocritical aspect of my colleagues is we just had a vote on the fisa reauthorization not too long ago. they are saying all of these things now. when vote took place, they voted to reauthorize it without further restrictions. they were fine then but now they're saying something else. clearly to me it's to obstruct this investigation. >> thank you so much. it's great having you on. gregory meeks of new york state and tim weiner, thank you for the great piece in the "new york times" today and for your writing. up next, some white house officials fear it the announce memo is a pleat dud. will that prevent the president from fire rosenstein and there be cripple the mueller investigation? you're watching "hardball." ♪ one is the only number be cripple the mueller investigation? you're watching "hardball." y be cripple the mueller investigation? you're watching "hardball." investigation? you're watching "hardball." crip investigation? you're watching "hardball." crip investigation? you're watching "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." president trump's slow motion saturday night massacre
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continues to take shape with the release of that house republican memo. the white house claims the decision was about transparency. in a statement, press secretary sarah sanders said the memo raises serious concerns adding the decision to classify was made with input from the president's national security team. of course, it was. but "the daily beast" reports trump was also taking his policy advice from a lesser former, a less formal adviser fox news host sean hannity's part of this. he's in the loop. it says hannity's persistent advocacy reinforced trump's growing determination to get that memo into the public realm. the report adds the two the discussed the memo's supposedly bombshell level significance and how it could shed light on corruption at the fbi. yamiche from the pbs "newshour," jonathan swan from axios and ruth marcus editor for "the washington post" and much more than that. i know. you know, there was a television
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show on for nine years called -- about firing people. he ended up firing people. now it's reality tv again. here's the president of the united states in his slow motion i can fire comey, i can fire mccabe, i can fire sally yates. i can fire rosenstein. he does it relentlessly with the same sort of grinding power. now he has a pretext to do it again and fire rosenstein in the next few days for all we know. >> out of watching that or reading the memo, the thing that stuck out to me, what's the big news here? when you start looking at the one paragraph that lises sally yates, james comey you start realizing one of these names is not like the other. only one is still employed. even though there's to do about the memo, it's about that one paragraph. >> it's an indictment. did you notice they weren't redacted? he didn't want the names redacted, jonathan? he wanted the names in there. >> he did. there were people who obviously wanted the names redacted obviously. but with regards to rosenstein, i would be surprised at least in
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the short term if he didn't make that move. i suspect if he did, his entire legal team would quit. >> ruth, could he be aiming at a more sophisticated target if he can blemish the credibility of rosenstein, mueller, the fbi, the justice department, then his people that 30 plus percent of the country will say i don't believe any of this. >> i think that's exactly the goal. i think i leave it to jonathan to tell us whether or not rod rosenstein can sleep soundly tonight or tomorrow night. i don't thinking if anybody gets massacred it's going to be on a saturday. >> that's right. that's one day, never on a saturday. >> i think the president would want his own day for a massacre, he would want a sunday night massacre. i do think clearly the goal here is to do something that i think it's extraordinary for us to watch a sitting president of the united states do which is to smear the law enforcement machinery of the united states and ininstruct his followers that it is not to be trusted or
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believed. that's the goal. >> so these rank and file people in the fbi that the president paid tribute to and sessions does all the time as you should, they've served the country, to say that they are doing their job and then to say but there shouldn't have been any surveillance of this guy carter page who is dealing back and forth with the russians. how can he have it both ways? your. >> previous guest chuck rosenburg laid this out. it's the rank and file that helped compile this information. >> this thick. you have to do something like this to get a wiretap. >> you can't have it both ways. you can't hermetically seal two or three people you describe as obama holdovers in the political leadership of the fbi and say that the vast mass of people who obviously do the grunt work with blameless, perfect, wonderful. you can't do it. that's what sean hannity's been doing and what the president has been doing. >> tell me about that move. you're in the media, not that kind of media, fox news primetime, good for you. what is the deal where does he coach the president? does he encourage him? what's the story here? do you know?
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he's a commentator and a good one. he has a big following on the right and he encourages the president to release a memo that destroys the reputation of the fbi? he does that? >> i think in some ways i think he's confirming what the president wants to do. the president said he wanted to release this memo right after that long speech he gave called the state of the union on tuesday. this idea is that we watch sean hannity to reinforce what he wants to do. hannity is not influencing the president to say you're going to be doing this because i told you to. the president is causing sean hannity saying can i do this and he's saying yeah, that its a great idea. i'll put it on my show. >> to his credit and i don't make enemies all around this business, too many anyway, he says i'm not a journalist. he's quite open. i'm an advocate. >> and he's an advocate and there's just this toxic feedback loop, not just with sean hannity but between fox news as a whole
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and the president, they rile him up. and then he acts and they rile up some more and it just keeps going. >> what does he do in the morning? he gets up at 3:40 as somebody pointed out to tweet against for this memo attacking this -- supporting this memo. what does he do till "fox & friends" come on? he must die. does he eat pancakes for two hours. >> >> i get the daily guidance all the time from the president. the briefing is at 11:00 a.m. he's up at 6:00 a.m. for five hours straight he's watching tv every morning. >> between 4 and 6:00 in the morning. you're watching "hardball." why wait months for your next vacation when you can squeeze one in between friday and monday at hilton? there's a vacation at the end of every week. whatever type of weekender you are, don't let another weekend pass you by.
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the "hardball" roundtable is sticking with me and they'll be up in a moment with three things i don't know anything about. brand-new stuff for the weekend. you're watching "hardball." the new new york. once home to the world's image center, new york state is now a leader in optics, photonics and imaging. fueled by strong university partnerships, providing the world's best talent. and supported with workforce development to create even more opportunities. all across new york state, we're building the new new york. to grow your business with us in new york state, visit
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so they're used by no one else but you. it is... the cloud. the ibm cloud. the cloud that's designed for your data. ai ready. secure to the core. the ibm cloud is the cloud for smarter business. we're back with the roundtable. yamiche, tell me something i don't know. >> i talked to a member of the house intel committee, a democrat. they're very worried even if they can release their memo they're going to lose the messaging war because the waters are so muddied right now people think this is completely a conspiracy. democrats aren't excited about releasing their memo. >> get up for this fight. go ahead, jonathan swan. >> thank you, chris. the shell. >> there shall be more memos. i had been told there were more coming and announce confirmed that tonight.
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he said there's one more coming out. i'm told there's more than one in the pipeline. >> who is going to write them? >> the same people. it's bringing the band back together. >> your thoughts. >> you kind of mentioned this before. it's really important for people to know though that these fisa warrant applications it's not like you scrawl a grocery list on the back after envelope. they're thick documents that have a lot of facts in them that go through a lot of people. rank and file and then the most senior officials of the fbi and the justice department. to cherry pick this the way. >> this is much ado about nothing, this whole memo thing. >> i do. >> do you believe. >> the democrats think that, too. >> very erudite. >> i always liked all the aussies i ever met. yamiche, jonathan and ruth, when we return, let me finish tonight with what's happening saturday night. in minnesota. you're watching "hardball." . but one day we were sitting there and we decided that,
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you know what? something needed to be done about what was going on in our inner-city. instead of buying a house, we decided to form this youth league. what is he doing wrong? he should shed the block. exactly. it's volunteer, we don't get a paycheck. it's one hundred percent from the heart. football shaped my life and i'm praying that it will shape these kids' lives as well. ♪ ♪ when it comes to travel, i sweat shape thesthe details.s as well. late checkout...
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let me finish tonight with what's happening sunday night, this coming sunday night in minnesota. to some it's the biggest sports event of the year. to more americans it's the chance of a perennial underdog to show the world what it's made of, the team that wasn't supposed to make it, after years of missing the chance then getting the chance with a great quarterback was told it lost its chance again and against all odds they beat two teams they weren't supposed to. now the eagles of philadelphia
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are heading to the super bowl they weren't supposed to get anywhere near. not only that, they the perennial underdogs will have a lot of the country rooting like hel for them because they are underdogs admitted and everybody admits it. fly, eagles, fly. why? because every good patriotic american roos for the underdog. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. >> tonight on "all in." >> i think it's a disgrace. >> #release the memo backfires. >> a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that. >> tonight after weeks of hype, why the actual news from the memo strengthens the collusion case. plus, is the president about to fire the man in charge of the mueller investigation? >> are you going to fire rod rosenstein. >> you figure that one out. >> why trump rejected the advice of his own fbi director but listened t