tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC April 20, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
the white house counsel just last weekend right after rosenstein you guessed it approved the fbi raid on donald o'donnell. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. i wrote it down. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. james comey's memos from about his conversations with president trump are out there now for all to see. they document in realtime the accounts the former fbi director gave in his public testimony under oath and his recently published book. the justice department turned over the comey memos last night ironically under the threat of subpoena by house republicans. well, those memos which represent key evidence the ongoing criminal investigation of the president were promptly leaked to the press. among other things, the memos
back up comey's assertion that the president never once asked him about protecting the country from russian interference. what they do show is that the president was obsessed with the most salacious allegation in the dossier compiled by former british intelligence officer christopher steele. in one exchange in the oval office, the president denied any impropriety but appeared to suggest he had talked about, catch this about prostitutes with russian president putin. they chatted about the topic on one or more occasions. comey documented that. the president said the hookers thing is nonsense but that putin had told him we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world. they actually had that conversation according to president. comey notes that the president did not say when putin told him this. and i don't recall -- the rest is redacted. in last night's interview with rachel, comey said he took that claim seriously. >> he told you that he had had a
personal conversation with president putin about hookers? >> yes. >> did you believe him or did you think he was speaking hyperbol likely? >> didn't seem to be speaking hyperbol lickcally. >> do we otherwise know that the president had had personal conversations with vladimir putin at that point? >>ity can't recall. i think there was public reporting that he had spoken to vladimir putin as sort of a congratulations on taking office thing at that point. i'm not suggesting they talked about how beautiful the hookers were in russia, but i do know there was at least one publicly reported conversation. >> well, president trump reportedly told comey on a phone call they'll "was bringing a personal lawsuit against christopher steele." while the most salacious allegation of the dossier have not been verified publicly, comey's memos appear to lend some credibility to steele's reporting. in an apparent reference to the dossier, comey says he told
reince priebus that "portions of the materialer were corroborated by other intelligence." that's the phrase and the verbatim. meanwhile, president trump is today attempting to say at that time comey memos somehow vindicate him. "james comey memos just out and show clearly that there was no collusion." and nonobstruction. that's trump's word. of course, nothing in the documents remotely supports any such claim. also breaking late today that west is tonight reporting that attorney general jeff sessions recently told the white house he might have to leave his job as attorney general if president trump fired his deputy, his deputy rod rosenstein who oversees the investigation into russian interference. he made his position known in a phone call to white house council donald mcgahn last week. "the washington post" is on the phone with me. matt, tell me about this interesting claim, if he goes, i go. >> yeah, it's a little bit like that. maybe just short of that.
so after michael cohen's and hotel room were raided, donald trump was upset and directed most of his anger at rosenstein. firing rod rosenstein could have big implications for the mueller probe. rod rosenstein supervises mueller because sessions is recused. it was an open question, what had sessions do if his top deputy got fired. is he told don mcgahn he would have to consider leaving, almost like a protest resignation. this was not a resignation like an out and out threat i want to make that clear but that he would have to consider that if president trump fired rosenstein. >> he was putting it on scale, wasn't he? he was saying one of the things you have to consider is i may walk. >> he was putting the idea out into the ether on the mind of don mcgahn. now, i don't have reporting to indicate what president trump
knew about that and if he knew about that, what he thought. but jeff sessions clearly did want to put this in don mcgahn's mind. >> the president seems to be for months now sort of urging or pushing sessions to quit. he doesn't like the guy. he doesn't think he's being a team player. now this guy, jeff sessions has the nerve to say, you don't like me, i'm walking perhaps from you fire rosenstein because he's doing his job and you're protecting yourself but not the country, something like that. >> i've seen some people suggesting hey, this would be great. a two for one for president trump. but have to keep in mind president trump didn't ultimate lit accept jeff sessions' resignation when is he offered awhile back. in some ways he was backed down by this conservative groundswell of support for jeff sessions. and also look, if they all go, if there's a massacre at the justice department, that would really put president trump's presidency in jeopardy.
so i don't know that he would necessarily view this as great, i'll fire rosenstein and get sessions as a bonus. >> and president nixon decided an earlier example of presidential trouble wanted to get rid archibald cox who was a kennedy guy. i understand why he was against him. but elliott richardson who is a republican quit. that made nixon look like the bad guy and it was all downhill from that will saturday night massacre on ward. matt, great reporting. we appreciate that. that's the breaking story right now in the west tonight. i'm joined by michael schmidt, reporter for the "new york times" and contributor, paul butler, former federal prosecutor and legal analyst, shannon pettypiece with me tonight is a white house report are for bloomberg. jennifer ruben an msnbc contributor and a writer for "the washington post." michael, it seems like this is one room but it's a couple of rooms. michael, your comment what you
just heard from matt at "the post." >> i mean this is this interesting thing that hung over the administration for over a year now. what does the president really want to do with sessions and rosenstein? wanted to get rid of sessions when mueller was appointed. talked about getting rid of rosenstein, has talked about mueller. the president has put an enormous amount of time and effort into these questions. ultimately, he hasn't done anything which is interesting. he's gone ahead and done things with rex tillerson. he's cleaned out his veterans affairs secretary. but on the justice department, he understands how big of an issue it would be if he were to do something there. and clearly, sessions here is sending a sign back to the white house that this is not a good idea for the president. >> you know, one thought i have is that the republican party of today as opposed to the republican party of abraham lincoln's time is centered in the deep south you could argue. and trump is a guy from new
york, always someone in a yin territory. he's not part of that the southern base of the party where sessions is. let me ask you about this other question. in so many of these cases criminal cases involving sexual misconduct, the person who keeps notes owns the day into the future. if you write contemporary notes or call your mother, sister, best friend and do something on the record in realtime, that can carries tremendous credibility x many months or years later when it comes to a national trial or courtroom trial. the fact that james comey has kept almost john dean-like records of what happened between him and all those conversations with the president, how can the president walk away from that now and deny the truth and credibility of these records? >> well, we've seen what the president did. he's able to sort of dismiss things and move through them in ways that other politicians haven't.
look, i think most people have made up their mind where they are on donald trump and how they feel about him. so i'm not sure how much these memos change that or whatever. at the end of the day, these are memos that bob mueller has. these are the basis for his obstruction investigation. he has already interviewed comey. he has gone through with them. and it will be mueller's findings, whatever mueller sees in it that is the true outcome. we give so much time to the public view of this, and obviously, that's important. but at the end of the day, it sits on bob mueller's desk. >> is there an attorney or investigator or a team of attorneys that mueller has had as tasked to look at the golden showers story, the two prostitutes involved in the ritz-carlton over there, that somebody certainly in the dossier says engaged in that behavior with trump present? it looks like that keeps popping up in these memo notes from comey tonight. they're there. does that mean mueller's taking that seriously enough to try to
figure out, is that something that vladimir putin has had on trump? >> well, we know that this is something that the fbi was looking at as far as back as january of 2017. they had the dossier. they were looking at the allegations. they were trying to find out whether they had merit or not. the interesting thing about comey's memos that came out the other day is that in there is information that shows that other parts of the dossier believed to be the less salacious parts of the dossier had been corroborated by other intelligence agencies. this means the dossier -- this means the dossier had gone out to other parts of the government that had looked at it and compared it to intelligence that they had. now, no one in the government has ever said that yes, we know there's a video like this but they're saying on the other issues on russian meddling in the election, in what was going on inside of russia the united states had intelligence that backed it up. that is one of the reasons why
the fbi under comey gave the dossier so much potential credibility and were looking into it. >> you know, this is as a strange presidency, shannon. in the fact that this kind of allegation sits against the guy. here's a president with three a yasz, david dennison in the nondisclosure thing, john baron where he wants to get on the forbes list and this other guy, jon miller, another name. like dragnet in the old days. aliases. george washington didn't have aliases. that's an who he was. now to have this question about these two sex workers, nobody i think assumes he called somebody into the room to do something like that. but if he's allowing them to come in, who knows what's going to happen. i have no idea how to speculate on there except the president keeps denying it. the bad guy returns to the scene of the crime. he keeps going back and telling comey. is this an attempt to convince comey he's a good guy and wouldn't do something like this?
that seems what he's trying to be doing? i wouldn't do anything like that. >> most people think if you keep denying it, you must have some guilt you're trying to get around. but trump does have a pattern of latching on to things and repeating them over and over again. the inauguration crowd size one of them, the clinton e-mails, things he latches on to that he can't see to get past. maybe this could be one of these things he has latched on to and brings up over and over and obsesses about. but to speak to the weirdness of this remark in here, that he will discussed this with putin. >> how do you put that together? let me go to paul. you're in a courtroom and somebody refers to the fact they had a previous conversation about sex workers to be a little more anti-septic here. sex workers, they're calling them hookers, blah, blah, blah. is that tough guy talk with vladimir or is it a reference to the fact that they did at one point talk about what was accounted for or alleged in the
dossier? does that suggest. >> to be having a conversation about sex workers sure sounds like putin and trump were boys. they were dudes which, of course, trump has denied. but that doesn't seem to be the kind of thing you talk about someone how just met especially one world leader to another. when we look at the comey memos, what we have is corroboration, contemporary corroboration which is what prosecutors love because it's very compelling evidence. we heard that trump asked for the loyalty pledge, collect, that's in the memo. we had heard that trump asked comey if he could see his way clear to helping out mike flynn, check. that's in the memo. again this obsession with sex workers. everything that has been investigated in the dossier seems to be coming true. you reported, chris, that reince priebus asked comey why are you telling trump about the stuff in the dossier and comey replied
because it's been corroborated. not everything but a lot has been. >> according to the comey memos just out last night, the president defended himself from allegations of what took place in the moscow hotel room and reportedly told comey he hadn't stayed overnight during the miss universe trip. the memo shows the president appeared to downplay the amount of time he spent at the hotel reportedly telling comey he returned only to get his things because they departed for new york that same night. however, appears trump's story is completely at odds with the account of his former bodyguard who accompanied him on that trip. as nbc news reported last november, schiller told the house intelligence committee that trump went to bed alone. additionally schiller testified he stood outside trump's hotel room for a time and went to bed. there's also documentary evidence that says trump spent a nice in moscow and here's a photograph taken by an nbc
producer showing trump at an event at the venue of the miss universe pageant on friday, catch this, the day before the event. so he had to stay overnight to be there the next day. the next day on saturday afternoon, trump sat down for an interview with an nbc news reporter. so he was there friday, he was there saturday. one could argue i think this is called, what is it called. >> deductive reasoning. > something like that. >> he was there through the night. >> and why would eli about that if there was nothing to this. >> circumstantial evidence. if there's snow on the ground, it must have snowed. >> that is bizarre. to go back to paul's comment for a moment, one of the things na makes this interesting is not only that this is contemporaneous corroboration but it is so detailed. the parts that aren't directly relating to the dossier are so believable. he talks about a jigsaw puzzle conversation where he talks about guess what, the electoral college, winning the vote.
so all of it rings with such clarity and such truth and the minute detail is rather remarkable. what's also interesting is trump didn't deny it today. he came up with this cock and bull story it exonerated him. if he was lying comey, he would have denied. apparently he's conceding what he wrote down is true. >> michael, tell me if you had to explain to an editor why this matters. why does the two women sex workers and what allegedly happened in the room with him which is obviously a focus of people's human interest for better or worse, what's the relevance of that to the larger question whether the president colluded with the russians? >> well, it's a larger question whether russia has some type of leverage over trump. can they come to him and say hey, look, you know, we have this thing. we would like you to do x, whatever. essentially it's a blackmail issue. >> but he wasn't running for
president in 2013 i'm sorry. they had it in their archives. >> but he was president in january of 2017. >> yeah. >> to michael's point, what you see in the memos how this bothered him to the point you were making earlier. if this is something that bothered him that he wanted cleared up, maybe that could say it's something the russians could have used for leverage if this existed, you know this is something -- >> even imagining it is brand-new territory for most people on the planet. the democratic national committee today filed a lawsuit against the trump campaign wikileaks and the russian government that they engaged in conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign causing damage to the democratic party. as nbc news points out the lawsuit could force the trump campaign and wikileaksings to reveal internal communications about the hack through the legal discovery process. the maneuver follows the same playbook the dnc used during the
watergate era, their lawsuit was ultimately successful yielding a $750,000 settlement from the nirk on campaign. paul, two years later i didn't realize they were that late in the game either. it's not a late hit. two years later, you can nail the other side. >> you can. the statute of limitations is longer for serious crimes, serious civil infractions. long is the operative word here. this civil process is going to take a long time. we keep emphasizing by prosecutorial standards mueller is going quickly. this investigation is speeding ahead way quicker than most important federal criminal investigations occur. so whatever import it is for the american people to know about trump and his alleged collusion possible collusion or obstruction of justice, we'll learn about that from mueller much quicker than from the civil lawsuit. >> we'll learn what rudy guiliani will be able to do to
shorten this investigation if he can do anything. coming up now that rudy guiliani is joining trump's legal team, he's already telling the boss what he wants to hear. he says the mueller investigation should be wrapped up within a week or two. rudy and the trump. we'll have some history to remember this by. let's watch. >> oh, you dirty boy you, oh, oh. donald, i thought you were a gentleman. hmm. >> you can't say i didn't try. >> so rudy and trump have worked together before. we'll get to rudy to the rescue next. plus, isn't that unbelievable? a former reporter for forbes magazine says donald trump created a fake persona and called himself john baron, an alias, to lie about his wealth in an attempt to con his way into the list of richest americans. the tapes of that incredible phone call tonight. it's all incredible. back to trump versus comey with the roundtable.
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well, catch this. north korea announced late today it suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests. the country also says that it plans to shut down a nuclear test site. the announcement comes days before north korean leader kim jong-un is set to had hold talks with the south korean counterpart. the north koreans are willing to discuss the denuclearization in that country north koreaing will not insist on american troops being withdrawn from south korea at the 38th parallel. these are impressive concessions. trump responded to the news a short time ago tweeting, this is very good news for north korea and the world. big progress. look forward to our summit. we'll be right back. it's a series of smart choices.
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> >> you know you're really beautiful. a woman that looks like that has to have her own special scent. >> oh, thank you. maybe you could tell me what you think of this scent. >> hmm. i like that. >> this may be the best of all. >> oh, you dirty boy you, oh, oh. donald, i thought you were a gentleman. >> wow, welcome back to "hardball." that was himself donald trump and his new lawyer rudy guiliani during happier times in 2000. giuliani a former u.s. attorney in manhattan has frequently boasted of his ties to the fbi. and yesterday, he made clear
what his mandate will be, telling the "new york post" i don't know yet what's outstanding but i don't think it's going to take more than a week or two to get a resolution to end this thing. they're almost there. i'm going to ask mueller, what do you need to wrap it up? according to "the new york times," some close to the president believe trump could try to replace jeff sessions with mr. giuliani in the coming months although mr. giuliani would face an extremely difficult confirmation hearing in the senate. it's all in quotes from the times. we're back with michael schmidt, paul butler, shannon pettypiece and jennifer ruben. starting with you, michael, how does this fit with the latest stuff tonight that jeff sessions was thinking of walking if trump fired rod rosenstein? >> i'm not sure how much it relates to that, to the sessions at the justice department, who is going to be at the justice department. but what is going on behind the scenes is that the trump folks
think they are okay with mueller and that they just sort of need to wrap up the end here. trump does not want to sit for an interview but realizes he certainly has to do that to bring an end to this. so they're going to bring in giuliani to negotiate the end, to go to mueller and say look, let's get this thing wrapped up. the problem is that if there's a big difference of opinion or idea what's going on here. if the trump folks think there's no problem here but mueller thinks there's significant issues, i don't think this thing is going to be wrapped up so quickly in a fashion like that. but the trump folks think that the mueller stuff is far less of a threat than what's going on in new york and that rudy can bring an end to it. >> paul, how do you negotiate the end of a criminal investigation? i mean, it seems to me unbelievable. lawrence walsh went on with the iran-contra for like nine years. that may be extreme, but how can a lawyer come in from outside and say get together here,
mr. mueller, mr. president, let's shorten this thing up? obviously trump doesn't want any more investigation and looks to me like mr. mueller would like to have as much investigation as he can get away, keep it going till he finds something interesting perhaps. how can giuliani say we're going to stop this thing? that doesn't make sense. >> because he is not a good krg defense lawyer. there are a hundred might collar criminal defense attorneys in d.c. who are experienced in high profile complex criminal investigations. rudy guiliani is not one of those people. he's a has been who was never all that great in the first place. which is why he could make this outrageous statement that he can bring the investigation to an end. trust me, he cannot do that. there are trials scheduled for september and october of this year. . >> what do you make of it?
>> i think the key. >> that's a hell of an offer. i'm going to shorten this up. >> the key to that statement is i don't know what's outstanding as in i don't know anything about this case at this point but can wrap it up in a couple weeks into ty cobb said this war was going to be over last thanksgiving. and trump's been swallowing this stuff for months. >> i would say the argument that the trump lawyers make is listen, we've given you all these documents. you've interviewed every witness. what more do you need especially on the obstruction. what more do you need from us? what are you asking? what's the outstanding request. right now they're saying there aren't any outstanding requests for documents or witnesses. >> this is all nonsense. this is either rudy and the other lawyers trying to settle trump down. he's coming in, you don't have to do anything rash. just like you said, trying to assure him of something that can't be assured. also, rudy is going through his third divorce.
maybe he needs more exposure on tv. maybe this is a favor for rudy. >> let's not get into that. >> purely strategic sense for the president, it might not be a bad idea to fire rosenstein and as you say, the president would get two for one if sessions would actually resign. i think the breaking news is that sessions might have some integrity. who knew? but if rosenstein goes, then trump gets to -- it's better than firing mueller because trump then gets to install mueller's boss who could say you can't expand the investigation, you can't look at taxes or any kind of personal financial transactions. the only people who would hold him in check is the congressional republicans. and would they call his bluff? i kind of don't think so. >> once again, if you get rid of sessions, you don't have to worry about rosen tine or mueller because you get an attorney general in there who is not recused who can clip mueller's wings if he wants to. you don't have to have a deputy
attorney general in there. you need an attorney general not recused. >> back to rudy guiliani. tell me about ruud giuliani and his strength. apparently he does know the special prosecutor -- the u.s. attorney in new york. he worked there. he headed it up. he apparently would have claim to connections, people accused him of having something to do with comey's decision 11 days out from the election because he said here on the show, we talked about what was his heads up. how did he know something was coming up in terms of hillary getting in more exposure with the e-mails from her, from, huma abedin and her husband anthony weiner. rudy seemed to know about that. how did he find out about it? >> that's been a question. that was something that the fbi was actually looking at even before comey left. what did giuliani know before the election? why was it that he sort of foreshadowed this move by comey? was he simply throwing things
out there or was there actually leaks coming out of the new york office? if you go back and look at comey's decision making around the e-mail decision, one of the concerns comey had was going to get a warrant in new york which they thought they needed from a judge to look at the huma abedin, anthony weiner e-mails. they were afraid if they did that, it would leak and comey thought he had to own that decision. i do not have evidence that rudy guiliani was by any means in comey's head on anything like that or that was something comey was worried about. the new york office is notoriously a leak one. a few weeks ago after john dowd quit the team because he concluded the president wasn't listening to him, we quoted a legal expert named roger cossack who said that trump was looking for someone that had the silver bullet that was going to tell him what he wanted to hear. if you line that up with giuliani who says i know how to
bring an end to it, it sort of looks like perhaps a silver bullet. >> thank you all for coming on this friday night. it's begun to look like one of the repertory companies where everybody changes parts during the run of the show. here's giuliani back as a guy that is going to help him and kimba wood who had the baby-sitter problem back in the clinton era. there's only 20 people running the country, the know men cla tour of this country and they shift rowes every once in awhile? >> it's the cast. >> it's a repertory company. it shouldn't be that way. it should be a democracy. thank you to michael shid, paul butler, shannon pettypiece and jennifer ruben. next, a reporter says trump posed as a plan named john baron to con his name onto the list of the world's richest people, also known as, david dennison,
remember that from the nondisclosure? and this guy jon miller, they're all him. we'll get to the incredible audio coming up. you're watching "hardball" where the action is. whether it's a big thing, small thing, or something unexpected, pnc will be right there when you need us. because when it comes to your finances, if you focus on today, tomorrow has a way of working itself out. i'm all-business when i, travel... if you focus on today, even when i travel... for leisure.
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would you sit still? this is laura's mobile dog grooming palace and this is where life meets legal. welcome back to "hardball." during the 2016 presidential campaign, then candidate donald trump often touted his business success as proof he would be able to run the country well. but as investigative journalist
jonathan greenberg revealed in the west today, trump repeatedly couldn't his way onto the forbes 400 list of the richest people in the country in the early '80s even posing as an employee of the trump organization named john baron to talk up trump's so-called wealth. here is john baron telling greenberg trump's net worth was higher than forbes previously reported. >> what's your first name? >> john. >> john baron. let me tell you what the deal is just so understand. mr. trump, first of all, most of the assets have been consolidated to mr. trump you know, because you have down fred trump. somebody mentioned you had asked about that or somebody had. it's been pretty well consolidated. >> he notes at the time he pushed back on trump's claims about his net worth but didn't realize how much he inflated his own numbers. greenberg points out this was a model trump would use for the rest of his career telling a lie
so cosmic that people believed that some kernel of it had to be true. the tactic landed him a place he hadn't earned on the forbes list of richest people and let the future accolades press coverage and deals that eventually paved the path toward the presidency. i'm joined by tim o'brien, author of "trump nation, the art of being the donald." trump sued him for libel after he reported a relatively low estimate of trump's net worth. i don't know if that's libellous. thank you for coming on. >> it's good to be here, chris. >> i was joshing earlier. i don't know how to describe it. we have a president of the units with at least three aliases. george washington, fdr, lincoln, i don't think they had aliases. it goes -- they don't have accusations whatever happened in moscow hotel rooms either. there's a, what do you call it, a dark side, sort of a different side to trump where he operates
almost like a con artist. >> well, it's not almost like a con artist. donald trump is a con artist. he's been i think pulling a long con on the american public for decades. a lot of what he's doing now in the white house chris, is very similar to what he did during his business career, which is to create this or try to create this aura around himself of being incredibly smart, incredibly wealthy, incredibly strategic. and a great performer. and it's all an art i fis for the most part. the things he's most secure about tend to be the things he brags the most about. he repeatedly brags about his intellect. i'm a very smart guy. i went to wharton, okay? he brags about his an trabtiveness to women. okay. then his wealth. i'm a very rich guy. i'm worth $10 billion. okay. >> what difference does it make
whether he has hundreds of millions of dollars or x many billions? does that calibration do for him. >> first and foremost, he's always seen is the forbes 400 list as a kind of pecking order. it's very important to his own sense of himself that he be considered a billionaire. and i think that that's just part of the strange amalgamation of him being both egomaniacal and wildly insecure all at the same time. >> secondly, he got good business traction off of that. the more media attention he got when he bragged about his wealth and the more that the media played along with that game, the more it kept him in the news and also became a calling card for him to use at banks. but i think the thing to remember here, as well is that to a certain extent the media was come police pit in that because you didn't have to be a rocket science to do digging into his numbers. when i was at "the new york times," i spent about a month
taking a hard look at some of these forbes numbers over the years for my book and for reporting for the times". you could see on the face of it a lot of it seemed at best specious. >> if he's a monte bank, if he makes stuff up, why do people do business with him in new york? if he never paid bills, you hear the stories of him just holding people up, giving them nothing, stiffing them. >> his contractors, his business partners, his attorneys and no one, none of the top tier families in the new york real estate business and frankly top tier real estate developers around the country ever considered donald trump to be a top tier real estate developer. and that's just. >> guys like mort zuckerman didn't do business with him, the big guys. >> that's correct. >> trouble is it didn't make any difference to the american people. they were the latest ones to go for it. maybe it will some day. thanks for coming on.
up next, who won the week? trump or comey? we're going to hear differing views, a little argument. the president and his former fbi director doing battle thanks to the newly released mem mose. who has come out on top? i would say the guy with the memos is doing okay. you're watching "hardball." (phone ping) gentlemen, i have just received word! the louisiana purchase, is complete! instant purchase notifications from capital one. so you won't miss a purchase large, small, or very large. technology this helpful... could make history. what's in your wallet? i'm trying to manage my a1c, then i learn type 2 diabetes puts me at greater risk for heart attack or stroke. can one medicine help treat both blood sugar
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they bring their knowledge, their tools and equipment and the proficiency to get the job done. and the whole time i have been in the fire service, pg&e's been there, too. whatever we need whenever we need it. i do count on pg&e to keep our firefighters safe. that's why we ask for their help. also was worried that i was meeting alone with the president to talk about things that were relating to him and to the fbi's core responsibilities and given the nature of the person, as i understood the president-elect, he might not tell the truth about those if it ever became an issue. so i needed a written record. >> oh, that's with rachel last night. that was former fbi director james comey on why he kept memos of his interactions with president trump. we know now. house republicans pushed for the release of those memos.
president trump last an night saying they shows no collusion and no obstruction. "the washington post" says sharing comey's version of events may have backfired on the president. he writes simply put, the memos confirm trump did try to exert a level of control over his fbi director over an ongoing investigation. there's no way to argue this is vindicating for trump. the opposite is true. ginger gibson, political coach the for reuters, adolpho trank co, rnc surrogate. and margaret carlson, columnist for the "daily beast." let's talk but, sir, adolpho. explain. who won this week? >> the president, there's no question the president is vindicated. this is just a big yawn. there are a couple things that have come through in the mem moepz. >> why did you yawn.
>> there's no collusion. >> everything comey said before is verified. >> there's no collusion. >> there wasn't a conversation about collusion. >> i think he would have brought it up. you're not under investigation. the president says why can't you tell the american people what you're telling me. you just saw comey himself. before he even met with the president, he already had suspicions and prejudices against the president. whatever he was going to write was svl serving. i don't think anybody in america is paying attention to this. >> where do you think his book will be on the best seller list next week. >> best seller? "fire and fury," no one is talking about that. >>. >> where do you think it will be on the best seller list next week. >> it will be on the best seller list for a short period of time. >> it will be number one. it turns out james comey is a very good writer. he's lost -- what he lost this week a little bit was his not moral authority but he is now more like us, first of all, he's
a writer selling books and he's also not unbiased anymore. we now see. >> -- >> can i just say. >> margaret is being too nice. i want to ask you about truth. i don't think comey is perfect. he's stupid to talk about the hands and the face and the tie. you know what? nobody's accused him of lying. trump engages in a world where he makes up alternative reality. >> the book is an homage to the truth even when you don't want to tell the truth, it is a book about telling the truth. i read it from the perspective of a reporter who feels that's what i'm called to do is tell the truth all the time. so for that reason, he found a lot of that really interesting. it struck me at points in time especially when he talks about his early cases. i think what we have to measure, maybe we can measure this on trump's perspective. trumps thinks anytime tomb someone is talking about you you're winning. comey is winning. they're not talking about taxes,
the economy, the jobless rate. they're not talking about what trump has done to create jobs and not going to talk about north korea in the same way because we're talking about comey. i think -- >> can i finish one thing which is that when somebody said you get into a cage match with a dancing bear. and you're going to lose a little bit. and that's the luster that came off comey this week the way it did when marco rubio talked about trump's hands and orange hair it, didn't hurt trump, it hurt rubio. you get pulled down. >> we're talking about the two women in -- alleged women in the ritz-carlton in moscow back in '13. you think that's good for trump we're talking about that again? >> if that's all they have, everybody knows donald trump. we've had the "access hollywood" tape. >> what does that tell you? >> it tells me this is a story for two or three days. fact of the matter is, most people are concerned about the
economy. about their taxes. >> do you believe comey's records? do you believe his >> well, i don't believe him. >> you don't believe his memos? >> i believe this -- i believe the memos -- >> no, you're missing my point. do you believe his account of his meetings with the president? >> i think they were carefully written thinking ahead that he would have a problem. >> were they accurate? >> no, they're not accurate. >> they're not accurate? >> no. >> he walked out of the room and five minutes later wrote something that didn't happen? >> i'll tell you why they're not accurate. you talked about truth telling, there's been an inspector general investigation. now, let's see if this guy is one of the leakers. he says in it -- >> i'm talking about the conversation with the president? >> he says i'm a leaker, i'm guest it -- >> okay, you're doing -- >> i'm not doing that. >> defending mccabe -- >> you're saying leaker -- >> adolfo, you pivoted from my question. did he tell the truth in his memos? >> what do you mean. "the wall street journal" says -- >> it's no big thing we spent the week talking about stormy daniels and what might have
happened at the ritz carlton because comey might be a leaker. >> i'll tell you one thing, stormy was not the leaker. you're watching "hardball." ♪ yesss! linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. linzess can help relieve your belly pain, and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements. linzess is not a laxative. it works differently to help you get ahead of your recurring constipation and belly pain. do not give linzess to children less than 6, and it should not be given to children 6 to less than 18. it may harm them. do not take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain, especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe. if it's severe, stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach area pain, and swelling. so say yesss! to help for recurring constipation. yesss! to help for belly pain. talk to your doctor and say
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we're back with the roundtable. adolfo, tell me something that i don't know. >> i'll tell you that only 25% of the american people know there are three branches of government. and only a third know there are nine superior court justices. last night when you were sort of taking jabs at the president, i think the president is doing a great job by telling the american people we actually are not at peace with korea and we have an armistice. i think the president is doing a good job on helping the american people with facts. >> thank you, you'll get a call five minutes later from the president. ginger gibson, thank you. adolfo, speaking for the president, and margaret, next time, you're giving me the look. >> adolfo. really? do better next time. >> it's true. it's true.
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let me finish tonight with something unexpected. something new, in other words, in american politics. it's the young people out there carrying the cause against gun violence, who now offer hope. today, students from over 2,000 schools across the country left their classrooms to make themselves heard. there they are. the protest was intentionally planned for today. the 19th anniversary of the columbine high school mass shooting. it was on april 20th, 1999, that 12 students and a teacher were killed. up until then, the deadliest school shooting in history. that record, of course, has been broken with a vengeance. according to the "washington
post," more than 208,000 children at 212 schools have been exposed to gun violence since columbine. the freedom to speak out and to pursue our lives free of oppression and gun violence are critical rights in any free society. americans need to make noise, to make sure our rights don't get taken from us. don't you think? that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> getting along with russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. >> new revelations about trump's curious relationship to vladimir putin. >> he told you that he had had a personal conversation with president putin about hookers? >> yes. tonight, why trump changed his story about his moscow trip and a bombshell about michael flynn.